Workshop with Grade-10 Khayelitsha Learners of UCT's VC SII 100up Project

11 Sep 2016 - 13:30

The Division of Biomedical Engineering held a workshop with 60 grade-10 learners from several secondary schools in Khayelitsha on 10 September 2016 as part of the 100up Project of UCT’s School Improvement Initiative supported by VC Dr Max Price.

The workshop exposed the learners to different aspects of biomedical engineering and related disciplines, including medical device development, orthopaedic biomechanics, medical imaging, biomaterials, and computational modelling. The learners visited four stations with different themes.

A station on medical imaging was hosted at the Cape Universities Body Imaging Centre at UCT (CUBIC-UCT) at Groote Schuur Hospital. Ms Ingrid O’pt Hof and Drs Marcin Jankiewicz and Ali Alhamud engaged with learners on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), why hydrogen and oxygen is important and how to see what a pineapple looks from the inside without cutting it open.

At another station at the Cardiovascular Research Unit and Strait Access Technologies Ltd, Prof Deon Bezuidenhout demonstrated how prosthetic heart valves are developed, how patients with heart diseases can receive a new heart valve without open heart surgery, and how a Nickel-Titanium material, cold and hot water can be used for a trick.

Dr Sudesh Sivarasu and his research group had set up a station in the space of the Division of Biomedical Engineering in the Anatomy Building. They showcased a large variety of projects spanning from the technologies that protect individuals against tuberculosis infection to crutches for eyelids (which are much smaller than the ones used when you have a broken leg) that help patients who suffer from a condition that causes eyelids to droop.

Dr Mazin Sirry and Kevin Sack of BME’s Mechanobiology Lab demonstrated at a fourth station in the New Learning Centre what a computational model is, how it can contribute to improve our lives, and what a sliced cucumber has in common with medical images of a patient’s head or heart.

A team of biomedical engineering postgraduate students accompanied the learner groups throughout the event to ensure that no one got lost between stations.

The workshop ended with price giving for the most engaging learners in each group. Thank you to all who made this day a great experience. A special thank you to Mr Gilbert Dolo and Ms Ferial Parker from UCT’s School Improvement Initiative.