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Helping Hands

University of Louisville biomedical engineering students test prosthetic hand they build for LucasImagine not being able to pick up a glass of water, open a door, or play catch because you had no hands. Now imagine you’re a biomedical engineer and can help amputees regain dexterity – with the help of a home 3D printer.

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Lend A Hand: Teaching Forces

3D printed prosthetic handWorking in groups of three, middle school students learn about types of forces, the relationship between form and function, and the structure of the hand by working as biomedical engineers to design, build, and test their own hand “gripper” prototypes that can grasp and lift a 200 ml cup of sand.

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Design a Sneaker

sneaker with xray leg in itStudents in upper elementary/early middle school follow the engineering design process to brainstorm and build prototype sneakers from a variety of materials to meet such design requirements as good traction or deep cushioning. They learn how the sole provides support, cushioning, and traction. There also may be some fashion-based functions, including cool colors or added height.

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Now Hear This: Cochlear Implant Inventor Wins Lasker Prize

earImagine life without sound. That’s the reality for hundreds of thousands of deaf individuals. Thanks to a device called the cochlear implant – the first medical apparatus to restore a human sense – many now can hear. Its three inventors won the 2013 Lasker Prize for their work.

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Berkeley Engineers Help Student Walk

UC-Berkeley Student Austin Whitney Graduates with ExoskeletonWhen University of California, Berkeley senior Austin Whitney walked across the stage at graduation on May 14, 2011, it was more than just a personal triumph. His rise from a wheelchair represented a triumph for paralyzed people everywhere–and for engineers whose “adaptive technology” designs have helped disabled individuals overcome mobility limitations.

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Student Invents ‘Walking Chair’

Walking ChairA British product-design student has invented a wheel-chair alternative whose legs can lift up and step over obstacles. Martin Harris, 21, hopes his invention will give people with mobility issues more freedom. He also believes his design, which was inspired by the kinetic sculpture of Dutch engineer-artist Theo Jansen, has potential uses in agricultural machinery or military vehicles.

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Video: Concussions In Football

ConcussionsIn this video, Sport Science takes a deeper look into concussions caused from helmet to helmet collisions. It exams the different factors involved and offers statistics on concussions and collisions in the NFL.

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Students Pick Cataracts as their FIRST Challenge

View of an Eye with a CataractEven unsuccessful contestants in the FIRST Lego League competition come up with imaginative ideas. A case in point is the team from Urbandale, Iowa. Challenged to build robots to tackle a biomedical engineering problem, they decided on cataracts.

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Lesson: Build a Prosthetic Device

Man Running with ProstheticStudent in grades 4 – 8 are introduced to biomedical engineering and the technology of prosthetics. As they create a model prosthetic lower leg, testing its strength and considering pros and cons, they learn about issues and materials that biomedical engineers consider in designing artificial limbs.

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