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This is a lesson plan that explores the operation and engineering of artificial heart valves, developed to help teachers integrate engineering practices in the secondary classroom. Students examine and operate both a ball valve and a gate valve, then they work as a team of "engineers" to develop and sketch enhancements to the mechanical heart valve. The driving question of the lesson: How do engineers design human/machine interface systems to meet human needs? See Related Materials for "Affairs of the Heart", a collection of labs and activities to explore the physics of fluid flowing in a vessel. Click "Watch Online" to view video clips of surgery to repair children's heart valves, robotic heart surgery, and the story of the 20-year effort to develop an artificial heart.
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