(375d) Strategies for Hands-on Activities Integrated in an Undergraduate Engineering Curriculum

Authors: 
Pham, H., West Virginia University
Dinu, C. Z., West Virginia University

It has been demonstrated that thehuman body is one of the most efficient chemical factories able to produce chemicals of complex nature that help maintain body structure and function. Understanding the complexity of individual cellular and molecular machines, and how their high hierarchical system integration leads to proper body functionality will help unravel how and why adaptability is based on changing environmental and societal conditions.

Within the context of human body complexity and functionality we proposed to provide physical means for visualization of body-related functions in synthetic environments to be used in curriculum development strategies in biomedical engineering. Specifically, we will discuss two strategies, namely designing an engineered-based system that mimics the transport in biological systems and building educational models using 3 D printing techniques to increase understanding of engineering-related concepts of biological systems respectively.

We demonstrate how hands on activities integrated in the curriculum not only leads to better learning but further, how the challenges and future prospects for hands-on activities implementation could be used as a pipeline for dissemination of engineering related concepts and techniques to high school students to thus provide concrete examples of real-world integration and applications while allowing exposure to STEM disciplines.