One of the things I love most about being a teacher is that each day I get to see the direct impact of the work I do. I imagine that doctors feel the same gratification, from their patients, that I feel from my students. Teachers, like doctors, must also often attend to urgent matters. Over the past three years, I have seen just how high the stakes are for my students. But every skill or life-lesson I teach them can open the door for opportunities and put them on a different life path. Similarly, advancements in biomedical technology, like prosthetics, are enhancing the capabilities and quality of life of individuals with physical impairments.
I believe creating a curriculum unit focused on engineering in biology, health, and medicine, will allow me to change the minds of my students, while sharing ways engineers and doctors are changing the lives of patients. This unit will foster transformational change by impacting all areas of my students' lives, from academic growth to problem solving and career development. Academically, my students will gain exposure to real world scientific connections. They will engage in cutting edge work of the discipline, through topics such as prosthetics, joint replacement, and rehabilitation. Also, this unit will focus on problem solving. My students, like engineers and doctors, will practice thinking critically and creatively to solve problems that relate to the world around them and other fields of science and mathematics. And finally, this unit will provide my students with a deeper understanding of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) and hopefully spark their interest in pursuing a STEM degree.
The New Haven 7
Grade General Science Curriculums focus heavily on the biological sciences. The 7
grade curriculum includes units on cells, genetics and reproduction, and life systems (musculo-skeletal and cardiovascular). Through this unit you will be able to: (1) gain an understanding of key ideas and techniques of engineering, (2) learn about advancements that have been made in biology, health, and medicine, as a result of engineering practices, (3) grow as a professional by gaining valuable teaching strategies to help your students use higher order thinking skills to seek their own answers to real world problems using engineering, and (4) instill in your students a desire to pursue a career in the field of STEM by researching careers in engineering.
This curriculum unit addresses engineering related particularly to advancements in orthopedic technology. Orthopedic bioengineering is a way for students to deepen and expand their thinking about the musculo-skeletal and cardiovascular systems. In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of the function of bones, joints, muscles, and the heart, students will also see first-hand how scientists and engineers work together to repair injury and wear and tear through the design of artificial joint replacements, prosthetics, and stem cells. Students will also practice using their inquiry skills through a problem based learning activity. By analyzing, through their own experimental design, how types of materials used for these techniques affect factors such as friction, lubrication, and wear characteristics students will propose their own engineering ideas.