We all know that gorillas and humans are alike in many ways, but few know that one of these ways is our common problems with heart health. Cardiovascular disease affects humans and great apes in a similar percent of the population as well as in similar ways. Heart disease is a major cause of mortality in both humans and great apes. Right now both humans and great apes are being treated and monitored by cardiologists, engineers and other specialists to find ways to prevent, treat, and cure cardiovascular problems with both species. In this problem based lesson students will analyze the cardiovascular health of humans and compare health risks shared by humans and great apes (specifically gorillas). Students will then study advancements in human cardiovascular health monitoring techniques and follow the engineering design process through the ideation stage to develop a cardiovascular health monitoring wearable device for great apes.
This lesson is based around an open ended problem that is currently being researched in the field, as such, much of the responsibility of learning is placed on the student. Classroom sessions are structured around exposing students to state of the art techniques for cardiovascular health monitoring and developing student research and data analysis skills.
Author: Stephanie Bender