June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.1199.1 - 11.1199.15
Teaching Basic Cardio-Vascular Mechanics With LEGO Models: A High School Case Study
This interdisciplinary instructional unit will teach participants the basics of the cardio-vascular system through fluid mechanics. It will explore the human circulatory system, while involving the concept of pressure. Students will explore the cardio-vascular system through both computer simulation and hands on modeling activities using a LEGO pneumatics construction kit and modifying it for desired outcomes. The LEGO pneumatics model serves as an instructional tool for high school students in their study of the cardio-vascular system. This model is used to explain different components of the system and the effect of blood flow through the heart. One of the ways to analyze the workings of the system is through the readings offered by the pressure sensors. Students can interpret the data in real time using Vernier probes and software. Graphic interpretations will demonstrate relationships between the various components of the system and help students to develop scientific thinking through analysis of physical phenomena. The success of the unit will be measured by looking at the experiences of students with the material and their interest in the field of engineering. Pre and post written questionnaires and observations were used to determine how this module impacted students’ engagement, motivation, and interest in the cardio-vascular system, engineering, and physics. The following paper accounts and demonstrates the positive impact teaching science through an interdisciplinary approach involving the engineering design process has on students, motivation, engagement, and interest.
Currently in most high schools physics, anatomy, and engineering are taught as three separate classes. Three years of science is required for graduation from most public high schools, while most college bound students take four full years of science.1 Engineering courses are offered, but in most high schools are not required for graduation.
The state of Massachusetts in their educational frameworks currently requires the teaching of the concept of pressure in any introductory engineering course, specifically in a unit involving energy and power technology. The cardio-vascular system according to state frameworks is taught in grades 6-8: Identify the general functions of the major systems of the human body (digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, excretion, protection from disease, and movement, control, and coordination) and describe ways that these systems interact with each other2 and in grades 9-10 with vertebrate anatomy and physiology: explain generally how the circulatory system (heart, arteries, veins, capillaries, blood) transports nutrients and oxygen to cells and removes cell waste.3
Hobbs, R., & Perova, N., & Verner, I., & Rogers, C. (2006, June), Teaching Basic Cardio Vascular Mechanics With Lego Models: A High School Case Study Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1135
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