Enhancing Secondary School STEM Education For Students and Teachers Through Biomedical Engineering Design

Project Audience

High school students and teachers, university professors

Subjects Addressed

Early engineering education, engineering design, biotechnology, teacher training

Project Website

http://hypothekids.org/hk-maker-lab/

Project Description

This proposal, entitled “Enhancing Secondary School STEM Education for Students and Teachers through Biomedical Engineering Design” focuses on giving students a hands-on opportunity to devise a biomedical solution to a problem and secondary school teachers design instruction training that they can use to create engineering curricula at their respective schools. In coordination with these educational opportunities, students will receive mentorship and internships with professionals in the biotechnology industry. This program is relevant to public health because the emergence of STEM fields, particularly the ascendant biotechnology sector in New York City, demands a STEM-adept workforce. The formation of this workforce will be largely dependent on a well-educated populace that receives early and frequent educational opportunities and real- world experiences. This program strives to enhance the STEM knowledge of secondary school students, particularly those from underrepresented communities, through biomedical engineering design training.

Abstract

Scientific Abstract: The continued emergence of STEM-focused careers spurs the need for an engineering-adept workforce. This trend is particularly relevant in New York City, which is experiencing a burgeoning technology, engineering, and life-science economy while hosting large numbers of highly promising students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in technology careers.

An integral part of developing this workforce will be early (P-12) education in STEM. However there are persistent deficits in STEM education, particularly in underrepresented minority groups and in lower-resource schools. To address these deficits, the project team is creating programs focused on enhancing STEM education by emphasizing biomedical engineering design for both students and secondary school teachers. Biomedical engineering design, or biodesign, is an appealing mode of instruction because it entails the practical utilization of science, mathematics and technology knowledge that students have accrued throughout their education, giving them a real world appreciation for these skills and fostering continued interest in STEM fields.

The Hk Maker Lab will give both teachers and students a hands-on design experience. The student participants will have the opportunity to devise solutions to engineering problems of their own design and interact with professionals and entrepreneurs from New York’s burgeoning biotech sector. The participating teachers will receive an innovative professional development experience, which they can subsequently use to integrate engineering design into their school curricula. The long term goal is to upscale this model, utilizing the resultant instructional tools and findings in high schools to augment upcoming generations’ knowledge of and appreciation for STEM fields.