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Before we began our DukeEngage program, each of us was required to think of a biomedical engineering lesson plan that we could lead during the Eureka! Camp. Of the eight lesson plans that were provided by my DukeEngage group, four were chosen to be implemented during Eureka!. I am pleased because we successfully led those biomedical engineering lessons this past week.

I chose to lead the lesson that consisted of building an IR pulse sensor. Throughout the lesson, the girls built a circuit that included two LED lights. Once the circuits were constructed, they were each connected to an IR sensor that my partner and I had built prior to teaching this lesson. When the girls placed one of their fingers in the IR sensor, one of the circuit’s LED lights should have blinked to the beat of their pulses. Despite the fact that the girls were not able to get the LED to blink to the beat of their pulses, I found that the majority of the girls could get the LED to turn on. This indicated that the girls could build a working circuit that was intended to be built by college freshmen.

This lesson differed from the other STEM lessons that have been taught during this summer at Eureka! because it was more instruction-based, and the girls had to follow step-by-step directions. The girls thought that this lesson was important because it required them to listen to directions and to follow directions, which are important skills to have. Additionally, they learned that an engineer may not be successful in her or his first attempt to design a product but must redesign and retest in order to construct a functional product.

Not only was this a learning experience for the girls, but it was also a learning experience for me.  I learned more about the field of biomedical engineering and became comfortable with building and troubleshooting a circuit as the week progressed. Through leading this lesson, I felt empowered because I realized that even though I am not an engineer, I am capable of building a functional, complex circuit. I am proud of the lesson that we prepared for the girls, and I am pleased that they worked hard and persevered during this lesson. I hope that the following two weeks of STEM will be as enjoyable and rewarding as this week was.