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Spokane students challenged to design prosthetics in annual MESA competition | Events

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Spokane students challenged to design prosthetics in annual MESA competition
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Spokane students challenged to design prosthetics in annual MESA competition

 

SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane area middle and high school students will have a new life perspective after facing the challenge of designing and operating a prosthetic arm.

Area middle and high school students are challenged academically each year during the Spokane MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) project and competition.

This year students will compete in the first-ever Prosthetic Arm Challenge. Seventeen MESA student teams from Spokane will put their designs to the test from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 at the Gonzaga University campus in Cataldo Hall.

Teams will research, design, build, test, and compete using a prosthetic device designed to mimic the movement of the wrist, hand and fingers. Performance will be judged as it relates to the following tasks:

•           Distance Accuracy Relay: greatest distance and accuracy achieved by tossing balls of three different sizes into target containers located at three different distances.

•           Object Relocation Task: greatest mass-to-time ratio achieved by placing objects of varying weight into the specified container.

•           Dexterity Task: greatest number of bolts and nuts correctly placed and secured onto the testing device.

•           Design efficiency: greatest ratio of device performance to device mass.

Tasks 1, 2, and 4 will be completed by all teams.  Only the high school teams will compete in the dexterity task.

All teams will also produce a technical paper, oral presentation, and academic display in support of their project. Their technical paper will detail their design process, experimentation with the device, and their understanding of the engineering concepts. Student teams will present their work and academic displays to a panel of STEM professionals from the Spokane area who will judge their presentation and challenge each team further with follow-up questions.

The competition is supported by MESA co-sponsors, Eastern Washington University and Washington State University Spokane, and program partner Gonzaga University. Each organization has a strong history of collaboration with MESA in the promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education and careers. 

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