June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.139.1 - 23.139.12
Adapted Physical Activity Design Projects: A Collaboration Between Kinesiology and EngineeringCapstone design projects have been an important culminating experience for engineers across thecountry. At XXXX, a subset of our projects have focused on adapted physical activity.Engineering teams have built cross-country sit skis, “standing” wheelchairs, Wii adapters forusers with limited mobility, and devices that allow people with disabilities to play Frisbee, golf,darts, bocce ball, and baseball. Teams are often from multiple engineering majors, includingmechanical, computer, biomedical, materials, and industrial engineering. What makes ourprogram truly unique, however, is how we have integrated students from the KinesiologyDepartment in our senior design experience.Students within the Kinesiology Department take a course in their junior year on adaptedphysical activity, and volunteer in the department’s Friday Club. On Friday mornings, athletesfrom Special Olympics participate in a number of different sporting activities with the help of thekinesiology students. In their senior year these students can take a course to serve as a liaisonand team member with the engineering design teams. The students meet with a kinesiologyadvisor each week to discuss progress with their teams, discuss different user requirements forthe adapted physical activity devices, and brainstorm about potential design improvements.They meet with the senior engineering teams, with the users when possible, and often researchdifferent aspects of the design (e.g., maximum forces that someone with a mobility impairmentcan produce).Although the projects have been largely successful, we have had some difficulties fullyintegrating the kinesiology students within the teams. The faculty advisors have largely allowedthe engineering and kinesiology students to define their own roles, but from different focusgroup results it appears that we need to provide more guidance. Additionally, this year we willhave the kinesiology students attend the critical laboratory meetings when the engineersbrainstorm different designs and define design specifications. Finally, we will explore howkinesiology student attitudes towards engineering change as a result of participating in theseprojects.
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