Bionic Hand

In a near future, it is expected that crews of astronauts and humanoid robots will work together to exploit space. They will both most likely make use of bionic hands. Bionic hands allow robots to manipulate objects made for human use. The astronauts will benefit from bionic hands because manipulation of objects in the vacuum of space through the gloves of a spacesuit is very fatiguing.
 
In this activity, teams will build a bionic hand, relate the bionic hand to their own hand to understand the function of the fingers and the importance of the thumb. They will also learn how bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments work, by comparing them with the materials used on the bionic hand to move the fingers.
 
Mission Question
What is inside your hand? How can we build  and test a bionic hand?
 
Skills
Design,  Problem-solving, Scientific Methodology 
Learning Objectives:
  • Understand how the human hand works
  • Learn that science and medicine use bionic prosthetics to substitute parts of the human body that are not working properly or are missing
  • Learn that scientists use the human body as inspiration to build tools, such as hands and arms in hostile environments like space or the deep ocean
  • Explore and test ideas building a simple machine in a group
Equipment
  • Activity 1:
    • Student worksheet printed for each student
    • Pencil
  • Activity 2:
    • Cardboard
    • Film tape
    • Glue
    • Scissors
    • Strings
    • Rubber bands (thin and thick)
    • Straws
    • Student worksheet printed for each student
    • Annex 1 printed for each group
  • Activity 3:
    • Student worksheet printed for each student
    • Pencil
Time
60-90 minutes

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