As part of the engineering design process to create testable model heart valves, students learn about the forces at play in the human body to open and close aortic valves. They learn about blood flow forces, elasticity, stress, strain, valve structure and tissue properties, and Young's modulus, including laminar and oscillatory flow, stress vs. strain relationship and how to calculate Young's modulus. They complete some practice problems that use the equations learned in the lesson mathematical functions that relate to the functioning of the human heart. With this understanding, students are ready for the associated activity, during which they research and test materials and incorporate the most suitable to design, build and test their own prototype model heart valves.
Students are first introduced to the greater part of their curriculum in the first quarter. Algebra 1 serves as an introduction to algebra. As we have seen, algebra is used in engineering to describe and solve equations, expressions, inequalities, in which algebra is used to compare (and most importantly) to synthesize expressions. Algebra is the language of engineering design...
... and we will begin our journey to learn this language by becoming "algebraic." To accept that we will need to be algebraic, engineers use a, b, c, variables, (functions), radicals, and other prefixes and suffixes. We practice using expressions in examples and gradually increase the challenges of those expressions that we will use in engineering. Some examples of these challenges include matching expressions, simplifying expressions, establishing inequalities, and determining the cost of designing a piece of equipment. In doing so, students develop essential engineering concepts and vocabulary.
The explorations in algebra and algebra 1 are intentional and active. Students learn to write the algebraic expression as an equation, expand, write a name for the variables (or prefix), and use equations to substitute and solve. They also practice developing inequalities and practicing problem solving in algebra. d2c66b5586