Lesson 3

No Bones About It: Designing Knee Braces

Brace Yourself / Grade 5 / Boston, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EIE - No Bones About it: Designing Knee Braces Lesson 3

Students observe the range of motion of their knees and compare the movements to those of a model injured knee.

Reflection Questions

How does introducing the model knee as part of Lesson 3 help prepare students for the design challenge?

Students are fascinated with the model leg, and giving them time to explore how it is made, how it moves, and how it is different from a real leg helps them better understand the requirements for their knee brace.

  • Measuring range of motion with the goniometer introduces students to the idea that a healthy knee cannot move in every direction, and that their brace should prevent unhealthy movement. (2:45)
  • Hands-on experience with the model knee in Lesson 3 gives students the background knowledge they need in order to effectively Imagine and Plan in the next lesson. (4:45)
  • Developing understanding of the size, weight, and structure of the model they will be using helps students think more deeply about the materials they might use for their knee braces. (8:20)

Why is it important to review the properties of the materials available and how they might be used?

Giving students time to learn about available materials and brainstorm ways they can be used as part of the Ask step of the Engineering Design Process helps them make informed choices when planning their designs.

  • Not all materials will be familiar to all students. When trying to identify the items in the materials bag, one student mentions that she “doesn’t know what this is called.” A peer reminds her that the material is called “felt.” (7:43)
  • Some students have less experience with the idea of manipulating materials to solve problems. Hearing other students’ ideas encourages all students to think creatively. (8:01)
  • Some materials are new to most students (Velcro), so Kathy wants to make sure that everyone understand its uses before they start designing. (8:12)