PostedTuesday, December 19, 2017 at 10:10 AM
Students are presented with a biomedical engineering challenge: Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among women and the American Cancer Society says mammography is the best early-detection tool available. Despite this, many women choose not to have them; of all American women at or over age 40, only 54.9% have had a mammogram within the past year. One reason women skip annual mammograms is pain, with 90% reporting discomfort. Is there a way to detect the presence of tumors that is not as painful as mammography but more reliable and quantifiable than breast self-exams or clinical breast exams? This three lesson/three activity unit is designed for first-year accelerated or AP physics classes. It provides hands-on activities to teach the concepts of stress, strain and Hooke's law, which students apply to solve the challenge problem.