Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of human body systems to engineer a durable and usable knee brace.

  • Grades 1–5 (Designed for grades 3–5; includes modifications for grades 1–2.)
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Human body
  • 5 lessons (8–9 class sessions)

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Students are introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. (30–40 min.)
The class reads a storybook in which a boy named Erik living in Germany applies his understanding of Biomedical Engineering in order to design a temporary knee brace for an injured classmate. (90–120 min., 2–3 sessions)
Students collect data about foot size and learn how biomedical engineers analyze information to design products for a range of bodies. (60–75 min.)
Students observe the range of motion of a healthy knee and contrast this with a model of an injured knee. (110–135 min., 2 sessions)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, and improve their knee brace designs. (125–150 min., 2 sessions)

Sample How-to Video

Sample Classroom Video

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources