On Saturday, January 31st, Dallas Independent School District hosted their second annual STEM Day! The mission of this event was for middle school students to “explore science in new ways, experience technology in different applications, engage in engineering activities, and embrace the fun in mathematics!”
To accomplish this mission, different organizations hosted different activity sessions. The Caruth Institute for Engineering Education hosted two activities: “How to Find Your Unique Fingerprint” and “Design a Lower-Leg Prosthesis”.
During the “How to Find Your Unique Fingerprint” session, students learned how to dust for fingerprints using Kool Aid and paintbrushes. They then analyzed their own fingerprints. After this, students used balloons and ink pads to inspect the distinct characteristics of everyone’s fingerprints. This helped them understand how fingerprints can be used for identification purposes.
During the “Design a Lower-Leg Prosthesis” session, students were told to go through the design process for building a prosthetic leg to function as a replacement for a lower leg. During the design process, students selected materials, assessed the movement requirements including flexibility and degree of motion, and assessed support requirements. They explored the design process and were able to understand each step, and exactly how each step plays an important role in the building process.
STEM Day 2015 was fun for both, the students and the presenters, and they are impatiently waiting for next year!