Designing Athletic Shoes in 4th Grade STEM

While learning about the work of biomedical engineers this week, the fourth graders have been taking on the roles themselves—“hired” by a fictional athletic shoe company, Fast Feet Shoe Company (FFSC). FFSC wants to learn about designing supportive running shoes for customers with various foot types and is enlisting our fourth-grade biomedical engineers to learn about different aspects of people’s feet.

Working as a team of experts in their field, our students will need to collect and analyze data about one aspect: the arches in people’s feet. This week, they have conducted both a wet-footprint test on their own feet as well as made a plaster mold of the soles of their feet. In the coming weeks, we will look closely at the data we collected and analyze arch heights. We will then be able to make a recommendation to FFSC as to how many running shoe models they should design and why it’s important to use data in design decision-making.

Bonus today was watching a movie about Winter, the dolphin with a prosthetic tail and learning about adaptive and assistive technology! 


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