Asee peer logo

A Biomanufacturing Outreach Module for Middle School Students Using Lego-Based Desktop-Factory Concepts (Evaluation)

Download Paper |

Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Use of Technology and Tools for K-12 Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/p.26250

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26250

Download Count

63

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

James F. Nowak Jr. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

James Nowak is a Graduate Student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.S.-Class of 2016) majoring in Mechanical Engineering. His research includes 3-D printing of nano-composite materials and quantifying machining outputs used in clinical dental operations. He is passionate about inspiring local students to pursue engineering careers in advanced manufacturing. James is the recipient of the 2013 Haas Student Manufacturing Award, 2014 Rensselaer Founder's Award of Excellence, and 2015 Arthur M. Greene Prize (Hon. Mention) as awarded by the MANE Dept. at Renssealer.

visit author page

biography

Tyler Parker Graf Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Tyler Graf is a Junior (Class of 2017) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He is currently assisting in the research of tissue regeneration, with a focus on the treatment of osteoarthritis. Tyler is interested in informing young students of opportunities in STEM fields, in the hope of inspiring them to pursue a career in these areas, especially in biomanufacturing. Tyler has been awarded the Rensselaer Leadership and and Recognition Awards both in 2012.

visit author page

biography

Lucas M. Dvorozniak Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Lucas Dvorozniak is a Sophomore (Class of 2018) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include the machining processes associated with bio-composites, such as bone, and 3-D printing. He is passionate about inspiring the next generation of engineering students by introducing them to new technologies, such as robotics and 3-D printing.

visit author page

biography

Tyler Sterling Brown Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Tyler Brown is a junior (2017) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, pursuing a dual degree in Computer & Systems Engineering and Computer Science. His research work includes development of software for a selective laser sintering (SLS) 3-D printer that provides greater user feedback control than current systems. He is enthusiastic about inspiring students to pursue careers in STEM fields, with a focus on advanced manufacturing.

visit author page

biography

Elizabeth S. Herkenham Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Ms. Herkenham is the K-13 Education Outreach Director of the School of Engineering (SoE) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her responsibilities include managing the Pre-College educational programs for the NSF-funded Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications Engineering Research Center (LESA ERC), CURENT ERC, and faculty-driven Broader Impact initiatives. Under Ms. Herkenham's leadership, the RPI Engineering Ambassadors undergraduate program was established in Spring 2011. This unique program has been an effective approach for disseminating cutting edge research concepts into today’s 4- 12 grade classrooms whereby over 20,000 students have been engaged in engineering related activities. The Advanced Bio-Manufacturing Lego-Machines are outstanding examples of outreach modules designed and implemented within the framework of the RPI Engineering Ambassador program and under the technical guidance of faculty support.

visit author page

biography

Johnson Samuel Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Dr. Samuel has been serving as an assistant professor in the mechanical, aerospace and nuclear engineering department of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) since the spring of 2011. As director of the Nano/Micro-scale Manufacturing and Material Design Lab at Rensselaer, he leads research and education efforts in the areas of advanced manufacturing and material design. Besides research, Johnson is also passionate about training and developing the next generation of manufacturing engineers in the US. He is the 2014 recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He was also awarded the 2014 - Rensselaer Class of 1951 Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2015-Rensselaer School of Engineering Education Innovation Award in recognition of his manufacturing education innovation efforts at RPI.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

In 2011, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Report on advanced manufacturing identified biomanufacturing as one of the key pathways to revitalize the economy in the United States (US). While the field of biomanufacturing has seen significant research growth over the years, the fact remains that student interest in manufacturing-centered careers has been on the decline in the US. This trend has been primarily attributed to their view of manufacturing as a "dirty, dark, dangerous, and declining" field, which is a wrong perception of the advanced manufacturing sector in the US. In order to address this critical human resource shortage faced by the Nation, there is a need to design middle/high-school outreach activities that paint a more realistic picture of the US manufacturing sector. Biomanufacturing provides an ideal platform for such activities because of its combination of high-tech industrial processes and perceived societal impact.

In this paper, we report the design and implementation of a biomanufacturing outreach module for middle-school students that uses Lego-based desktop-factory concepts. This module leverages the power of Lego-based instructional techniques to convey the biomedical impact of the advanced manufacturing sector in the US. The module comprises of a suite of three Lego machines that replicate the subtractive manufacturing, additive manufacturing, and metrology processes seen in biomanufacturing applications. These Lego machines are combined into a single desktop factory , which is then used to expose the students to concepts such as 1) Personalized design to create biomedical products that meet the needs of each individual; 2) Smaller environmental footprint to reduce input resources and promote sustainable manufacturing; and 3) Continuous manufacturing concepts encountered in a production line.

The paper will present the details of a one class-period implementation of the module presented by undergraduate engineering students to two middle schools in the community. The module is expected to reach over 200 students with nearly half of them being female. The efficacy of the module will be measured using a pre-and post-module survey given to the students. The survey will use Likert-scale ratings and polar questions to gauge their change in attitude toward biomanufacturing. We will also report this data based on gender and age, to show the trends in the efficacy of the module based on student demographics. The paper will conclude with ideas for the deployment of such modules in the form of a curriculum that meets state educational standards.

Nowak, J. F., & Graf, T. P., & Dvorozniak, L. M., & Brown, T. S., & Herkenham, E. S., & Samuel, J. (2016, June), A Biomanufacturing Outreach Module for Middle School Students Using Lego-Based Desktop-Factory Concepts (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26250

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015