June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Students in a traditional Anatomy classes often spend much of their time memorizing the structure and function of various systems in the human body. Although labs are often implemented, students that hope to enter the medical field often are looking for opportunities to work on engaging problems that will help them develop creative and critical thinking skills that they can use in their future careers. This project focused on implementing engineering projects into an Anatomy 2 course during their cardiovascular system unit in the hopes that the students would recognize the benefits of working on real world problems. A high school anatomy teacher, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering partnered to implement the projects.
At the beginning of the unit, students were given a research topic: comparing mechanical and electrical ways to measure activity of the cardiovascular system. The students were then given a list of lesson topics and labs related to the research topic and were instructed to think about how each topic was related. They then put each of the lessons and labs in order based on how they thought they should learn about them. The students learned about the anatomy and function of the heart in traditional lessons led by their Anatomy 2 teacher, but these lessons were also supplemented with an engineering lab and a final project led by the author, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. The engineering lab involved learning basic electronics in order to create a pulse meter with an LED and a photoresistor. Students also learned how to read and use an ECG. At the end of the unit, students participated in a final project where they designed and tested a hypothesis that compared mechanical measurements (pulse meter) and electrical measurements (ECG) when looking at the activity of the cardiovascular system.
All meetings of the class during the cardiovascular unit were videoed so they could be observed. In addition, data were taken at the beginning and end of the to compare attitudes towards the traditional style of teaching and this proposed method. Each student took a pre- and post- survey measuring how much each method benefited them (feeling more prepared for college, enjoying the material, learning about new careers) and cost them (having to put in work outside of class, feeling stressed about completing work, and not feeling comfortable with the teaching style). The success of this approach will be evaluated by comparing pre- and post- test data, as well as by observing student behavior throughout the unit.
Singelmann, L., & Trautman, V. E., & Ewert, D. (2019, June), Implementation of Engineering Projects in a High School Anatomy Course (WIP) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32937
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