Following are examples of learning modules developed for educational outreach at UW Bioengineering. The activities are designed to demonstrate cutting-edge applications of bioengineering, and are based upon current research in the department.

Use our contact form to request UW Bioengineering Outreach to bring these hands-on activities and demonstrations to your school or event!

Students performing nanoparticles activityNanoparticles

Nobody likes getting sick and having to remember to take their medicine. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a kind of medicine you could take just once, and have it work inside your body the whole time you were sick? 
In this module, students create calcium alginate spherical beads to model nanoparticles, and learn how nanoparticles enable new forms of therapeutic drug delivery.

Students leading strawberry DNA extraction activityStrawberry DNA Extraction

All organisms have a couple of things in common. They’re all made of cells, tiny biological machines that are each directed by a gigantic molecules called DNA. Let’s crack some strawberry cells open and take a look at the DNA inside.

In this module, students learn about DNA function and how DNA extraction techniques are used in bioengineering research. Students extract visible quantities of DNA from fresh strawberries, and get to keep a tube of DNA as a souvenir.

Students participating in an ultrasound demoUltrasound

How can doctors see inside of you using just sound? Medical ultrasound technology can be used for non-invasive imaging by looking at the soft tissue within the human body.

In this module, students learn about therapeutic applications of ultrasound technologies, and have the opportunity to image various parts of their body (typically, muscle fibers in the forearms and the carotid artery in the neck).

Students participating in prosthetics activityProsthetics

UW bioengineers are employing the engineering design process to improve prosthetic devices and help patients to recover the function of a lost limb.

This module introduces students to the engineering design process and its role in prosthetic device design. In teams, students apply their new knowledge to build and test a prosthetic limb or joint out of clay, plastic straws, duct tape, PVC pipe, string and other materials, then test their devices in a race. Students may also inspect examples of prosthetic devices, including heart valves and hip implants.

Cardiac engineering demoCardiac Bioengineering

Interested in learning about the heart and blood vessels? UW bioengineers excel in cardiovascular engineering research and developing new technologies for cardiac disease diagnosis and treatment.

In this module, students learn about the basics of engineering design and cardiac biology as they rotate between three cardiac-related stations: 1) demonstration containing real examples of heart valves, pacemakers and other cardiac devices; 2) learning how to suture and tie surgical knots; 3) ultrasound examination of the heart or blood vessels such as the carotid artery.