The development of new materials with incredible properties is changing the way we live. From LCD TVs to super light airliners, these materials have quickly found their way into the modern technology around us. One area where modern materials have made a huge impact is in the development of prosthetic devices. Some of these devices are beginning to outperform ‘natural’ body parts.
Activity info, teachers’ notes and curriculum links
Students carry out some data manipulation to find the best material from which to make a prosthetic foot. They plot graphs of stress against strain and calculate the modulus of elasticity for a number of candidate materials. The activity offers strong opportunities for cross-curricular work with Mathematics.
The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
You can extend this activity with the practical experiment 'Which Material 2' (see Related activities section below) where students investigate the properties of smart springs.
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All activity sheets and supporting resources (including film clips!) are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students' and your schools' needs.
You can stream and download the related films for free by clicking on the appropriate link in the Related resources section below.