This past weekend, the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering provided Biomedical Engineering students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a real life challenge by hosting a Make-a-thon.
Twenty teams of 4-5 upper and underclassmen students were presented with a NASA-inspired case in the biomedical field and given 30 hours to complete the task with certain functional and material constraints.
The competition kicked off on Friday, February 26th with a presentation from NASA and the reveal of the challenge: to develop a device that treats and prevents musculoskeletal injuries on long duration space missions.
The Make-a-thon CADing officially began on Saturday, February 27th. Teams were spread across the large room at Tutor Campus Center with mentors (including alumni from industry as well as current graduate students) sprinkled throughout, available for consulting, brainstorming, and assisting.
A few hours later, the teams presented their preliminary plans to the mentors. Five fabrication teams were chosen to move on to the next round and they were given the opportunity to go to the Fabrication Lab at USC to see their prototype come to life.
The next day, after continuous work, the teams got to showcase their final product to a panel of judges, including Dr. Maarek (the Director of Undergraduate Affairs), Dr. Loeb (a Biomedical Engineering professor), Dr. Jamieson (an adjunct professor), and Dr. Deridder (an Aerospace-Mechanical Engineering professor). The winning team was chosen– congratulations to Bethany Jarvis, Alex Budde, Ashely Ishigo, Rosstin Afashi, and Patrick Corrigan!
I got to ask Bethany a few questions about their completed prototype and her experience in the Make-a-thon.
Q: What was the biggest challenge?
A: It was definitely finishing the prototype in time. There were a bunch of technical difficulties of the printers breaking and such.
Q: If you had done anything differently, what would you do?
A: I would have planned it a little bit better, you don’t realize how fast 30 hours will go by.
Q: What was your favorite part of the Make-a-thon?
A: My favorite part was working with my team in the late hours of the night into the early morning because we had our idea and our design solidified it. We played music and it was a lot of fun!
We’re all so proud of our ASBME Presidents, Shira Bernard and Adam Seifert. Their tireless efforts were fruitful, as the event was a wild success. “I enjoyed watching the teams develop their designs and really think through every stage. I was happy that I was able to provide that experience and hopefully make it an annual event!”
We hope so, too, Shira.
Huge thanks on behalf of ASBME to the sponsors of the Make-a-thon: Genentech, Abbott Laboratories, Alfred E Mann Institute, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and Cook’s Medical![author title=”Author” author_id=””] href="#" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Button Text