- 3:51 PM

The Inspires Curriculum: Introducing K-12 Students to Engineering Design Using Inquiry-Based Learning

Julia M. Ross, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, Taryn M. Bayles, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, Carolyn Parker, George Washington University, Washington, 20013, and Bruce Jarrell, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, 655 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201.

The INSPIRES Curriculum (INcreasing Student Participation, Interest and Recruitment in Engineering and Science), with funding by the National Science Foundation, seeks to provide new curricula that incorporate hands-on experiences and inquiry-based learning with ‘real world' engineering design exercises to target the ITEA Standards for Technological Literacy as well as national standards in science and mathematics. In addition, the project includes in-service training with the curriculum and professional development opportunities for Technology Education teachers prior to classroom use. A specific objective of the project is to increase the involvement of women and other underrepresented groups in engineering and technology by providing female and minority role modes in the classroom and developing case studies that encourage interest and participation by all groups.

The “Engineering in Health Care: A Hemodialysis Case Study” learning module has been completed and is currently available for adoption. The focus of this four-week curriculum is on the engineering design process and this theme is interwoven throughout. To start the curriculum, students are introduced to a dialysis patient and her doctor through a professionally produced video segment. The purpose of this segment is to provide societal context for the module topic. Students then go through a series of hands-on activities related to hemodialysis, mass transfer, and fluid flow. Next, students are given an online challenge to design an efficient and inexpensive hemodialysis system. The online portion of the curriculum then continues with a content tutorial focused on the science behind dialysis. Interactive animations are used throughout the module to illustrate key concepts, such as how various parameters affect diffusion. The students then mathematically simulate a hemodialysis system online to predict the performance. This allows the students to manipulate a variety of parameters to determine which combination is likely to yield a successful design. After the students successfully complete the computer simulation, the patient and doctor (via video segment) discuss their visions of hemodialysis for the future and reiterate the challenge to design and build a hemodialysis system that meets performance criteria. Student teams subsequently build, assemble, test and evaluate the performance of the prototype that they create. At the end of the design project, the students return to the computer module to see an inspirational video of engineering and medical students discussing why they chose their particular fields of study.

To date, the module has been tested in a number of technology education classrooms and a summer professional development workshop has been held. In this presentation we will demonstrate the “Engineering in Health Care: A Hemodialysis Case study” computer module. In addition to teacher assessment of the curriculum, student learning and attitude data will be presented and evaluated.

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