Lesson 4

No Bones About It: Designing Knee Braces

Designing a Knee Brace / Grade 5 / Boston, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EIE - No Bones About it: Designing Knee Braces Lesson 4

Students apply their knowledge of materials, the range of motion of a healthy knee, and biomedical engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve a knee brace design.

Reflection Questions

How does Kathy cover each step of the Engineering Design Process (EDP) while teaching this lesson?

Kathy uses EiE handouts, group discussions, and some of her own activities to help reinforce the EDP.

  • Kathy uses the EiE Ask handout to help students review what they learned about range of motion in a healthy knee. (0:52)
  • Before working on the Imagine and Plan sheets, Kathy has each student use a blank sheet of paper to make a freehand sketch of what their knee brace might look like. (4:49)
  • Groups spend time working together on the Imagine and Plan sheets (6:30), then fill out a list of the materials they will use. (4:06)
  • Each group creates a knee brace based on their Plan (7:08) and tests for range of motion with the goniometer. (8:00)
  • Kathy conducts a reflection discussion that focuses on the Improve step. (8:09)

What important engineering habits of mind does Kathy use the reflection portion of this lesson to reinforce?

During her reflection discussion, Kathy guides students to demonstrate abilities to use failure as a learning opportunity, make tradeoffs between criteria and constraints, and communicate effectively.

  • Students demonstrated their ability to use failure as a learning opportunity as they described multiple iterations of knee brace designs, making improvements based on how each one failed. (9:14)
  • One group struggles with tradeoffs as they try to determine the right amount of tape to use. Too much tape made the knee brace difficult to remove, too little tape made it less durable. (9:50)
  • Students use effective communication as they describe the changes they made and share the results of their testing. (10:29)