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Susie Dobkins

Students will use bioengineering and biomimicry to design devices that could help people with a wide range of disorders

2021 STEM Scholar
Billings, MT Eileen Johnson Middle School

Susie’s Big Idea:

Students will use bioengineering and biomimicry to replicate human body organs and systems. They will learn about various disorders and how these disorders affect the body, then explore the ways scientists and engineers are working to help the people affected. Finally, students will use their knowledge to design an ergonomic insulin pump, an inhaler that is easier for athletes to carry, a heart valve replacement and hip replacement, or another project of their choosing. Students will use programming to design sensors to create a simple pacemaker – and a bionic hand or leg. They will then go through the engineering design process, present their designs to the class, make revisions, and test again. These projects will show students that failure is normal and necessary in the development of innovative concepts. They will enable students to learn science and engineering concepts while practicing the soft skills that will benefit them in life as well as the classroom.

Fun Facts:

Susie loves any activity that involves being outside – especially rock climbing.

In her own words: “Middle school is when students’ career aspirations and academic trajectory is the most malleable; using this time to explore their strengths as well as apply what they are learning to explore new careers has the potential to be life changing.”