Last fall, a total of 16 Stony Brook volunteers, representing students, staff and faculty from the International Biomedical Engineering Honor Society Alpha Eta Mu Beta (AEMB), Biomedical Engineering Society and Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching participated in the Long Island School for the Gifted Maker Day. There were more than 200 attendees at the event consisting of children from pre-K through 9th grade and their caretakers.
Throughout the Maker Day, children were able to learn how biomedical engineering (BME) can improve human health care through many different ways. The University groups’ theme was “BME The Maker” and they provided interactive stations where attendees were able to learn about the key BME iterative design process.
Children had to identify the problem with research on existing solutions and define key design criteria from testing to finalizing. Hands-on activities included arm wrestling using a muscle sensor and a 3-zone LED light shoe that detects the pressure at 2 different zones on the sole to help with fall detection and prevention.
“It is important to educate our future generation. Informal engineering teaching combined with hands-on based activities in events like Maker Day can create a much bigger and more effective impact on children as they freely brainstorm design ideas and directly interact with our inventions,” said Mei Lin Chan, faculty advisor of AEMB. “It is also rewarding for us to see the smiles on their faces as they learn and interact with the technology.”
University participation was possible with the support of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Office of Community Relations. With overwhelming support and praise for their workshop, the University groups would attend again in the future.