June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Recent literature has supported student-centered learning to promote positive learning outcomes and encourages students to take ownership of their learning. There are several ways to achieve student-centered learning, including incorporating projects and team-based learning activities into the classroom. These strategies have shown to be especially successful in engineering education. Furthermore, there has been a recent push by the American Society of Biomechanics, as evidenced by the first annual National Biomechanics Day and 2016 K-12 Outreach Expo, to compile and present ‘hands-on’ biomechanics demonstrations and lab activities to get K-12 school age students excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by showcasing the field of biomechanics to the general public. Therefore, in a new class offered by the University of Delaware Mechanical Engineering department entitled the “Biomechanics of Super Heroes”, the authors developed a group project to encourage student-centered learning through the medium of biomechanics and super heroes. The students’ goal was to create a video and lesson plan that could easily be used as is and/or recreated by teachers in a classroom describing a biomechanics demonstration and/or lab activity using characters from science fiction (preferably a familiar superhero or villain). Students worked in pairs to prepare short educational videos along with lesson plans appropriate for high school aged students. The project was successful, as students used fundamental concepts and super heroes to explain biomechanics. Some examples included using Elastigirl (a super heroine with the ability to stretch her limbs) to explain Hooke’s Law and the Green Arrow (a super hero with exceptional archery skills) to explain projectile motion. The students were assessed based on their chosen topic, presentation of their video, clarity of the lesson plan, time to complete the activity, accuracy of their analysis, and cost of supplies. The students also completed a peer evaluation based on the Oral Communication VALUE rubric from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU). Overall, this video project used a student-centered learning strategy and a fun medium of fictional superhero characters to promote outreach education in the STEM curriculum.
Ebrahimi, A., & Higginson, J. (2017, June), Board # 112 : EEGRC Poster: Using Super Heroes to Relay Biomechanics Principles in Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27692
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