ESTEAM trip to Auckland Uni Bioengineering Institute

On Wednesday, 10 April the Y11 ESTEAM class boarded an Auckland transport bus and headed to Auckland University Bioengineering Institute in Central Auckland.

We were shown into a meeting room and had bioengineering explained to us. We split into four groups. My group went to the station that investigated your foot pattern while walking. There were three activities to complete at this station. At the first one, there was a $250,000 treadmill that reviewed the weight distribution of your footprint as you walked. We were able to view the sensory data from the treadmill of the weight distribution on a TV screen as the volunteer walked.  At the second activity, the volunteer had small green screen balls attached to her shoes and the sensors connected to the TV screen. We were able to see the little dots moving as the biometric data of her walk was mapped. The next station had a mat that contained sensors and collected data about the different surfaces of the foot that touched the floor while walking. The image showed the different pressure points on your foot as it walked in different colours.

Then we moved on to the next station, which was about gravity forces when you jumped. We each took turns to try and jump as high as possible and we lifted a weight to see how fast we could lift it.

The third station was focused on bones. We learnt about how they were developing a tool for surgeons to make hip transplants more accurate and increase the success rate. Next, we got to listen to our muscles as they moved. A sensor pad was attached to our arm, and we could hear our muscles expand and contract as they moved.  The last station was about lungs and the effects of vaping. Using a holographic image, they were able to demonstrate the effect of vaping a set of lungs.

We listened to a panel of PhD students and qualified Bioengineers discuss their work and where they started on the path to becoming bioengineers. After a detailed presentation about vaping, we all headed back to school with a diverse range of inspiring knowledge.

By Felicity Wright (11OBN)