Hk Maker Lab provides 10th and 11th-grade students, who are particularly from backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEAM, exposure to the field of biomedical engineering. For this year’s cohort, we had 23 participants who started the program by taking pre-college project-based courses including innovation and Design and Introduction to biomedical engineering with the prestigious Columbia University Faculty. After completing the coursework, students put into practice what they learned through design projects in groups. This year’s theme for the design projects was to brainstorm solutions for health disparity using a developed program, website or app. Students spent many days developing their coding and digital media skills with Hk Maker Lab instructors. There were two lead instructors Howard James Nicholson III and Kay Chioma Igwe who are current Ph.D students in the department of biomedical engineering. They both have intensive experience in coding and digital media and come from a distinguished background in their knowledge of biomedical engineering. They led lectures and interactive experiences on topics such as developing a user interface design, building websites using HTML, coding using Python, building apps using MIT app Inventor, etc.
After the training, they were split into groups of four and they designed projects per their interest with the aim of bringing creative solutions to health disparities. All of the groups presented their projects at the end of the program and got to put into practice all that they learned through the program.Some of the projects that students worked on were a blood pressure regulating APP, a BMI calculator with tips on healthy lifestyles, education children about autism by creating interactive exercises, etc. We were all very surprised by their unique approach to solving many health problems that continue to affect us today. All of the groups exhibited a lot of knowledge on the topic showing that they had done intensive research prior to developing their product. All of the groups had a strong aim with the specific population target for their product.
To learn more about Hk Maker Lab: https://www.hypothekids.org/hk-maker-lab