Maribeth Keitz Web Communications Manager National Academy of Engineering

Valentine’s Day Engineering

PostedFriday, February 10, 2017 at 2:57 AM

What do you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? Hearts and flowers? Of course most of the hearts drawn to show love look nothing like the real thing. Why not take advantage of the occasion with a lesson on the human heart that uses the engineering design process? Put Your Heart into Engineering is a lesson geared for middle school that explores the design requirements to develop heart valve replacements and shows how engineering contributes to solving problems with the human body. Similarly, Saving a Life: Heart Valve Replacement, is a hands-on activity for middle schoolers where they can design an artificial valve prototype using an iterative process. For grades 9-12, Artificial Heart Design Challenge, teaches students about blood flow and uses the engineering design process to learn about designing an artificial heart. For teachers of younger students, The Heart of the Matter has ideas on how to talk about engineering related to the heart as a pump. A shout-out to TeachEngineering, the source of all these heartfelt instructional materials!

Some of my favorite memories from Valentine’s Days go way back to all those little heart-shaped cards we passed around in grammar school and the anticipation of getting one from your sweetheart. Those little valentine cards were not very creative, but you could try a pop-up card or explore paper engineering with the TeachEngineering activity Engineering Pop-ups.

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