Empathy-Based Design in Tech 8

photo grid of middle school students and cardboard orthotic prototypes

January 28, 2021

Eighth grade Technology students utilized empathy-based design to plan, draw and build an orthotic prototype that would provide artificial support for a lower limb. Students worked together in groups, both in person and virtually, to research a problem and work through the design process (which includes defining the problem, generating concepts, designing solutions, building and testing, evaluating, and presenting solutions).

Groups had to formulate orthotic designs that met specific criteria for the intended population (such as removeable, comfortable, secure at the ankle, and only the toes can lift up). Despite the challenges of collaborating with team members in class and at home, this project was a big success for students as usual.

The orthotic project is part of the Project Lead The Way curriculum at CDMS. Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programs are designed to serve middle and high school students who may be more inspired by the application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) than they are by traditional mathematics and science courses. Learn more about PLTW programs here.