celebrate with us on January 24th, 2022!

BCI headband and NeuroMaker HAND

STEM occupations account for nearly 7% of all U.S. occupations and STEM workers play an important role in America’s innovative capacity and global competitiveness. They are our engineers, medical scientists, sociologists and informational security analysts.

Did you know that in 2019, there were nearly 10.8 million workers in STEM occupations, according to Census Bureau estimates? Let’s work together to fill that pipeline of skilled workers.

To celebrate, we welcome you to take part in the following, simple but very effective, activity.  It will help you and your students gain a better perspective for why someone with a limb difference would benefit from having a prosthetic hand.

Put one of your hands in an oven mitt for the duration of your class, to simulate the lack of your fingers, and document the challenges you experience. 

  • What tasks were difficult and what tasks were not as hard as you expected? 
  • Do you think that one type of prosthetic hand would be sufficient, or would a user need other adaptive devices – for certain sports or hobbies?

Looking to take things further?

To simulate the lack of having wrist rotation, if the limb difference happens above the wrist, hold one of your wrists steady with your other hand and try to reach for things around you.  Try to take something out of a back pack or to open a water bottle.

  • Do you find yourself compensating by hiking up your shoulder or throwing out your elbow?
  • How do you see these motions becoming an issue over time?
Congratulations! You have just taken your first steps in empathy and are well on your way to defining a specific problem statement!
See how you can take this farther in a real life challenge designed by our engineers for you in our 3D printing exploration unit

Having these kinds of real world connections allow students to better understand how their in-class activities are relevant to the work engineers and designers have to do out in the real world.

We invite you to continue the dialogue and look forward to telling you more about NeuroMaker at our webinar later today!

Real-World Industry Connections

Tying all of this project-based learning to real industry applications is an added benefit to both the educators and students who seek to be able to talk about real-world connections within a growing STEM industry.

“I like the fact that these devices actually support/connect with more human interactions. This is about having empathy for people and making the world a better place, it’s that application that motivates student thinking about how to make innovations better. Other courses that I’ve had so far are missing the human connection. Student attention and engagement is at its best when the theme is ‘we’re going to use these devices to help people.’” 
Matthew Gorr
King Philip High School Robotics and Computer Programming Teacher