If you are searching for a hands on, critical thinking, inquiry type activity for anatomy students that incorporates STEM into your classroom, here it is!
I call this one of my "junk science" labs. I am fascinated with the science of robotics, artificial limbs and 3D printing. Medical science is making great advances in these fields, but it is so important to recognize where it all really starts - with the idea and a prototype. Most of us do not have access to lots of new technology but we do have access to basic junk that can be transformed into amazing, working structures. That is what students will do with this activity.
In this lesson, I have included images and instructions in a flexible, easy to understand format. I use this lesson at the end of our unit on the skeletal system in high school Anatomy and Physiology. Once students understand the components of our hands that help us move and manipulate objects and perform tasks, they can apply that to make their own "working hand".
This is an excellent opportunity to review the steps of Scientific Method and describe how scientific knowledge is applied to develop new technologies. Students get creative and active in the learning process and you will see engaged and excited science students.
This can be used as either a formative or summative product assessment. It is also easy to incorporate a reflective assessment as I have students think about what they learned in this activity, the challenges and mistakes they made, and reflect on how they would improve on their model in the future.