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Board 17: Work in Progress: Prosthetic Design Cases as an Educational Tool In and Out of the Classroom

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Samuel Elliot Krause Helping Hand Project

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Senior studying BME in the UNC & NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. Project manager for the Helping Hand Project, a non-profit that builds custom prosthetic devices for children with amputations.

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Jeff Powell Helping Hand Project

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Jeff Powell is a graduate student at UNC-Charlotte studying Biological Sciences. He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's Biomedical Engineering program. As a student at UNC-CH, Jeff started The Helping Hand Project, a 501c3 non-profit and student volunteer group which supports children with upper limb differences. This includes using 3D-printers to create prosthetic devices for children. The non-profit includes chapters at four North Carolina universities, including UNC-Charlotte.

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Richard Goldberg University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Richard Goldberg is a research associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He teaches several courses in the areas of instrumentation, imaging, and design. His primary interest is in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology for people with disabilities.

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The goal of this study is to evaluate student educational outcomes that result from working on prosthetic limb design and manufacturing. This activity is facilitated through the Helping Hand Project (HHP), a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with upper limb loss through the creation of prosthetic devices. HHP collaborates with BME students at University X in a variety of ways. Within the BME curriculum, HHP facilitates a semester long project in the BME Design and Manufacturing II class. In this course, 3rd year engineering students learn the basic tools and procedures of modern design practice as well as traditional and modern rapid manufacturing technologies/techniques. Students are given a design project to work on over the semester, which is used to facilitate a deeper understanding of design and manufacturing skills. In the past few semesters, students in this class worked on a case provided by the HHP. The outcome of the class was a 3-D printed prosthetic hand that was custom designed and fabricated for an individual. The HHP also offers students the opportunity to be involved in device design as an extracurricular club activity. Students form teams and are provided with a case to work on for the semester. These teams don’t receive course credit for their work and lack formal deadlines, however they have fewer restrictions on device design requirements.

These activities offer enriching educational opportunities for the engineering student, and the goal of this study is to evaluate student outcomes as a result of their involvement in the project. We have designed a survey that has been administered to students before beginning the project, and will be administered again after completion. This survey will be administered to students taking the BME Design and Manufacturing II class, and to those working on cases through the club. Students are asked to rate their own ability in a number of different areas commonly used to evaluate engineering education outcomes, including technical ability, understanding of the design process, teamwork, and organizational skills. Each broader area has questions that look at discrete abilities - for example within technical abilities, students will self-rate their level of competence with 3D Computer Assisted Design (CAD), programmable devices, electronics, 3D printing as a manufacturing method, and laser cutting as a manufacturing method. The results of this study will be collected throughout the year. This feedback will help us to understand the impact of the HHP program on our students. Based on the feedback that we receive, we will make adjustments to the program to further improve student outcomes.

Krause, S. E., & Powell, J., & Goldberg, R. (2018, June), Board 17: Work in Progress: Prosthetic Design Cases as an Educational Tool In and Out of the Classroom Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29974

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