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Bionic Man

This interactive stand gamifies medical implants by posing medical problems to participants who need to match the right implants for the situation. 

Bionic Man
  • School/Institute/Department: Engineering and Materials Science
  • Subjects: Medical engineering, gamification
  • Audience: KS3 KS4 KS5, secondary school, sixth form

This project was established by Martin Knight and Elena di Mascio to promote Engineering to school students for The Big Bang Fair , the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. The aim was to dispel some of the misconceptions associated with engineering (for example that it is all about building bridges) by focusing on Medical Implants and Devices to show how engineering can solve medical problems.

The stand itself takes the form of a game; visitors would get a tray with six medical implants and then read six medical problems – they have to try to match the implant to the problem. The facilitators are then able to explain how the implants work and how it is related to Engineering.

In particular, this is aimed at an audience of younger students aged between 10-16  who may not normally be attracted to the prospect of engineering, so this, encourages them to consider engineering as a subject area for the future.Visitors are able to interact with medical engineers and learn about the engineering that goes into medical implants and their contributions to medical developments.

So far, the Bionic Man has received positive feedback from the Big Bang and school advisors. In response, a class room activity to inform the students about the technical alternatives to medicine’ has been developed and plans are being made to continue this development into part of a MOOC to ‘Educate the Educators.’

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