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Incorporating Biomechanical Research Topics Into K-12 Classroom Design Projects to Broaden Participation and Increase Engineering Interest

[+] Author Affiliations
Brandi N. Briggs, Benjamin S. Terry, Janet Yowell, Stephanie Rivale

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Paper No. IMECE2011-64530, pp. 333-341; 9 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2011-64530
From:
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Engineering Education and Professional Development
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5491-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME

abstract

This paper describes a successful new biomechanical engineering curriculum created and implemented in two highly diverse local high schools by two graduate TEAMS (Tomorrow’s Engineers[[ellipsis]] creAte. iMagine. Succeed.) Fellows. In the semester-long curriculum, students create robotic surgical devices to diagnose and biopsy endometriosis, a pathology that afflicts roughly 5% of the adult female population. Curriculum focusing on anatomy, physiology, and tissue mechanics was also included to enhance the students’ understanding of the human body and its response to engineering materials. Focusing this course on cutting-edge, biomechanical research that explicitly and authentically illustrates how engineering benefits society resulted in increased enrollment in engineering by underrepresented populations. This paper also discusses personal reflections by the two graduate Fellows of the benefits gained and lessons learned during the design and implementation of this innovative high school curriculum.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Biomechanics , Design

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