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Using Bme To Teach High School Fluid Dynamics

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Engineering in High School

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1402.1 - 10.1402.5



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Paper Authors

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Robert Sherwood

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Stacy Klein-Gardner

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Using BME to Teach High School Fluid Dynamics

Stacy S. Klein1, 2, 3,4, Robert D. Sherwood, 4 1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN / 2University School, Nashville, TN / 3Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN / 4Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Abstract In the VaNTH ERC, high school curriculum modules based in biomedical engineering (BME) have been developed. As part of this work a module on Hemodynamics has been developed based upon design principles growing out of cognitive science research. Accompanied by a figure and an audio file, the module begins with a grand challenge: "You, as a medical student, are presented with a patient with a heart murmur that can be heard throughout diastole. Listen to the audio file that accompanies this module to hear the murmur through a stethoscope. Pressure measurements made in the heart are shown below. Which valve and what condition are most likely to be causing this heart sound? Why?" Students investigate how the circulatory system works, how fluid dynamics principles apply to pressures and flow in the circulatory system, and how pressure patterns and heart sounds in the major valvular disorders are altered. A comparison of a Physics class using this curriculum (experimental) to an AP Physics B class who was taught the same principles through traditional teaching methods (control) was made. Students completed a short pre-test intended to measure basic understanding and a post-test composed of three parts: the pre-test repeated, more complex questions similar to a traditional test, and module specific "near-transfer" questions. On all three test sections, the experimental group significantly outperformed the control group (p<0.02) as measured by ANCOVA in the 2003-2004 school year. Additional field test studies are underway in the 2004-2005 school year. These results indicate that this biomedical engineering curriculum appears to have a positive effect on students' ability to master and apply fluid dynamics.

Introduction The VaNTH Engineering Research Center for Bioengineering Educational Technologies is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF EEC 9876363) as one of the several engineering research centers. While its focus is primarily at the undergraduate and graduate level of college education, a significant outreach program to the high school level exists. This outreach program, including an earlier NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) supplement program, has involved the development of numerous curriculum modules for use in high school science classes.1

The design utilized in the curriculum modules makes use of a strong contextually based “Challenge” followed by a sequence of instruction where students would attempt to “Generate Ideas” (first thoughts on the challenge), view “Multiple Perspectives” of others commenting on Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Sherwood, R., & Klein-Gardner, S. (2005, June), Using Bme To Teach High School Fluid Dynamics Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15104

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