2013 Engineering: Essential to Our Health

Contest Description

The 2013 contest deadline has passed.  Congratulations to all of the winners!

 

Medical Images Contest 2013

It is hard to imagine what the world would be like without modern medicine. Doctors today have a wealth of tools at their disposal to combat human suffering. From complex robotic surgical suites that enable surgeons to operate on patients thousands of miles away to simple storage mechanisms for vaccines in the developing world, engineering and technology are central to the way we fight disease. There have been many successes on the road to a healthier planet, but many battles are still left to fight. The following five diseases are considered the leading causes of death throughout the world today*:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Stroke
  3. Influenza (and other lower respiratory infections)
  4. Emphysema (or COPD)
  5. Diarrhea

Grades 3-5:

Describe an advance in the treatment or prevention of one of the diseases above that was developed through engineering. Explain why it is important and how engineers were involved. No more than 500 words.

Grades 6-8:

Describe an advance in the treatment or prevention of one of the diseases above that was developed through engineering. Explain why it is important and how engineers were involved. Identify specific engineering disciplines that have contributed to the technology and explain how the unique contribution of these different engineering disciplines is significant. No more than 750 words.

Grades 9-12:

Describe an advance in the treatment or prevention of one of the diseases above that was developed through engineering. Explain why it is important and how engineers were involved. Identify specific engineering disciplines that have contributed to the technology and explain how the unique contribution of these different engineering disciplines is significant. Describe the design process that went into the development of this technology, and explain what engineers are doing currently to improve upon it. Describe how future treatment or prevention of the disease may be different based on these potential engineering improvements. No more than 1500 words.

*From The World Health Organization, The top ten causes of death, Fact sheet N*310.

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