We recently wrapped up our fall unit for the WABS After School STEM Academy. This session, the Outreach Committee fielded three teams to work with middle school students from three different schools. This fall, volunteers and students learned about biomechanical engineering and explored ways to create helmets to protect against brain injuries.
Students created helmets out of household materials such as batting, pipe cleaners, bubble wrap, and foil and tested them on mannequin heads. The student-designed helmet had to prevent a paintball attached to the top of the mannequin's head from breaking after being dropped from a height of 5 feet. To add an additional challenge, all materials were assigned a fictional price, and the students had to create a safe helmet as cheaply as possible. The kids and adults had a lot of fun with this unit and loved the hands-on testing.
We can't wait for next session where we will get to teach kids about designing an earthquake resistant structure! Learn more about the program here.