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Paige Isner

Building prosthetics to understand anatomy

2019 STEM Scholar
Alpharetta, GA DeSana Middle School

Paige’s Big Idea: Paige plans to augment her discussion of anatomy by challenging students to create a prosthetic for a human body part, such as a hand or foot, or an animal body part, such as a dolphin tale. Students will work to determine the functionality of the body part and explain how creating a prosthetic for a human would be different than creating a prosthetic for an animal. Then they will create a preliminary model out of recycled materials to get a better understanding of how the prosthetic would function. Next, they will create a detailed drawing and plan of the prosthetic using Google Drawings. Finally, they will create a 3D-printed model of their design.

The project will allow students to understand how the skeletal and muscular systems work together, as well as increase their technology skills. Students will also create a marketing plan for selling their prosthetic that will include a cost analysis and advertising ideas.

Interesting Facts: One of Paige’s favorite lessons is a three part assignment focused around light waves and how the human eye works. The students were separated into small groups and then rotated through three stations where they worked on different aspects of their project. The first station was a guided cow eye dissection which helped the students examine and understand the different parts of the eye. At the second station, students were tasked with creating a green screen video describing how the eye worked. They had to write the script, create the background images, film, and edit their own video. Students had to describe all parts of the eye and how the light interacted with the different parts and eventually made its way to the brain. At the third station, students had to create an infographic comparing two different types of technology (including surgeries) that could help to improve sight. Students then presented the videos and infographics to their classmates.

In her own words: "My passion in science education is technology! I really enjoy showing my students new tools and different ways to use the tools they are familiar with in order to better enhance their learning experience. I love to video chat with other schools or businesses to show my students that it is easy to make global connections with the technology tools. I have coached basketball at the middle and high school levels for the past six years. Getting to know my students outside of the classroom is one of the things I love most about being a teacher."