Abstract

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education workshops and programs play a key role in promoting early exposure to scientific applications and questions. Such early engagement leads to growing not only passion and interest in science, but it also leads to skill development through hands-on learning and critical thinking activities. Integrating physiology and engineering together is necessary especially to promote health technology awareness and introduce the young generation to areas where innovation is needed and where there is no separation between health-related matters and engineering methods and applications. To achieve this, we created a workshop aimed at K-12 (grades 9–11) students as part of the Summer Youth Programs at Michigan Technological University. The aim of this workshop was to expose students to how engineering concepts and methods translate into health- and medicine-related applications and cases. The program consisted of a total of 15 h and was divided into three sections over a period of 2 weeks. It involved a combination of theoretical and hands-on guided activities that we developed. At the end of the workshop, the students were provided a lesson or activity-specific assessment sheet and a whole workshop-specific assessment sheet to complete. They rated the programs along a 1–5 Likert scale and provided comments and feedback on what can be improved in the future. Students rated hands-on activities the highest in comparison with case studies and individual independent research. Conclusively, this STEM summer-youth program was a successful experience with many opportunities that will contribute to the continued improvement of the workshop in the future.

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