Two challenge-based laboratories for introducing undergraduate students to biomaterials

Jennifer Vernengo, Kevin D. Dahm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Due to the increasing prevalence of bone and cartilage disorders in today's society, there is a necessity to engineer biomaterials to treat these debilitating diseases. This will require educational institutions to provide specialized education in these areas. Yet, there have been relatively few published reports on biomaterials-related lab activities for undergraduate engineering students. This paper presents two interactive laboratories, one for freshmen and the other for seniors, that center on biomaterial design challenges and emphasize fundamentals of materials science. Learning was evaluated with pre- and post-tests designed to assess specific learning outcomes that are consistent with those set forth by the Assessment and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The average scores on the post-tests for both laboratory activities were significantly higher (p<0.05) than the pre-tests, indicating achievement of the learning outcomes. For the senior-level laboratory, answers to an exam question related to the laboratory were compared to those from a previous course offering which used a literature review project, in an attempt to evaluate the impact of the hands-on laboratory. The cohort who did the laboratory activity scored significantly higher (p<0.05) than the cohort who did the literature review, while no significant difference between the cohorts was found on a control question (p<0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e14-e21
JournalEducation for Chemical Engineers
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Chemical Engineering


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