Flamingo Leg Brace


Objective: Students will be introduced to the concept of biomedical engineering.

Grades: 3-8

Time: 1 hour (estimated)

Materials: stuffed flamingo, cardboard, Styrofoam, paper, boxes, popsicle sticks, yarn, LEGO, brads

Lesson Plan:

  1. Biomedical engineering uses many different types of engineering techniques in the medical field. Its applications include the development of diagnostic equipment, therapeutic devices, pharmaceutical drugs, and artificial limbs (prosthetics).
  2. Introduce the client by watching this clip: https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/the-zoo/videos/flamingo-gets-a-leg-brace
  3. Discuss flamingoes. Compare and contrast a human leg with a flamingo leg.
    Their legs are incredibly skinny so a small trauma can cause serious injury.
    Comparable to an ACL tear in humans
    Observe how they normally walk. Which way do their knees bend?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLV_K7DVeyU
  4. Explain user-centered design, the idea that the client (in this case the flamingo and the zookeepers) must be taken into account when designing a solution. What would they want?
    Explain that their solution must be able to help the flamingo stand
    It should be comfortable for the flamingo to wear
    It should be easy to take on and off (this will make it easier for the zookeepers)
    It should be waterproof so they flamingo can still do normal flamingo things
    What else should we consider when designing something for a client?
  5. Allow students to design and build their prosthetics and/or wheelchairs.
  6. Allow students to present their designs. Did they add any special features?
  7. Wrap up: Discuss what challenges students faced in this activity. What worked? What did not work?

Extensions and Modifications:
Build a brace for your own knee. How is it similar? How is it different?

To Buy:
https://www.amazon.com/Plush-Flavia-Flamingo-Mini-Flopsie/dp/B000ULZQAI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524768866&sr=8-1&keywords=stuffed+flamingo
https://www.amazon.com/Aurora-World-Flopsie-Flo-Flamingo/dp/B003231HY0/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1524768883&sr=8-7&keywords=stuffed+flamingo

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