Hands-on Activity Go Public:
Osteoporosis Brochure

Quick Look

Grade Level: 12 (10-12)

Time Required: 1 hours 45 minutes

(two 50-minute class periods, plus student time outside of class)

Expendable Cost/Group: US $0.00

Group Size: 2

Activity Dependency:

Subject Areas: Biology, Chemistry, Life Science, Problem Solving, Science and Technology

A medical drawing shows a human foot and angle bone.
Students address osteoporosis and the role biomedical engineering plays in diagnosing and preventing the disease
Copyright © 2004 Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399 USA. All rights reserved.


In this concluding activity, students answer the unit Challenge Question and apply their acquired learning from Lesson 1, Fix the Hip Challenge and Lesson 2, Skeletal System Overview to create informative brochures that address osteoporosis and the role biomedical engineering plays in diagnosing and preventing this disease.

Engineering Connection

With this activity, students demonstrate how engineers would present their understanding of the connections between osteoporosis, the skeletal system and biomedical engineering. This is important because engineers must be able to relay their findings to different audience so they understand what is going on. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become brittle and, thus, weak. Biomedical engineers are working on ways to prevent bone fractures from occurring due to the onset of this condition. In addition, engineers have designed DEXA scans as a way to screen for osteoporosis. Biomedical engineers use the information from the scans (that is, bone density) to determine specifically where the onset of osteoporosis has occurred.

Learning Objectives

After this activity, students should be able to:

  • Create an informative brochure defining osteoporosis and biomedical engineering, which is suitable for use to help answer the Fix the Hip challenge question.
  • Present the brochure to the class.

Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.

  • Apply a product, system, or process developed for one setting to another setting. (Grades 6 - 8) More Details

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  • Use various approaches to communicate processes and procedures for using, maintaining, and assessing technological products and systems. (Grades 9 - 12) More Details

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  • Distinguish between the different types of bones. (Grades 9 - 12) More Details

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  • Describe the physiological mechanisms involved in bone development, growth, and repair. (Grades 9 - 12) More Details

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Materials List

Each group needs:

  • access to resources including internet, journals and books
  • various materials for the construction of hard copy brochures, including paper and markers or a computer program that can help create a brochure template

To share with the entire class:

  • computer and projector for presenting information with the class

Worksheets and Attachments

Visit [www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/van_skeletal_system_activity3] to print or download.


As part of the Go Public phase of the legacy cycle, today you will begin designing your brochures for Osteoporosis Awareness. I have given you a copy of the rubric I will use to grade your final product. Use your in-class time wisely today because I will ask you to present your brochures tomorrow. It is important that you accurately portray your findings. Also make sure that you do so in a way that the general public can understand the information you are presenting. This is an important job for an engineer because most of the funding they receive will come for organizations that do not necessarily have engineering or medical backgrounds. Successful brochures include the following items:

  1. An explanation of what osteoporosis is.
  2. The basics of the skeletal system (what someone needs to understand about bones to understand how osteoporosis can affect humans).
  3. What tools are used to diagnose osteoporosis.
  4. How biomedical engineers play a role in designing tools to diagnose osteoporosis and substitute materials for bones (use what you learned from the What Makes Our Bones Strong? activity).


Before the Activity

  • Gather materials and make copies of the rubric to hand out to students.

With the Students

  1. Review the Challenge Question: When you get home from school, your mother grabs you, and you rush to the hospital. Your grandmother fell and was rushed to the emergency room. The doctor tells your family your grandmother has a fractured hip, and he is referring her to an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic doctor decides to perform a DEXA scan. The result showed her BMD was -3.3. What would be a probable diagnosis to her condition? What are some possible causes of her condition? Should her daughter and granddaughter be worried about this condition, and if so, what are possible prevented measures they could take to prevent this from happening to them?
  2. Any questions? Answer any questions students have about the brochure and what is expected. Present them with the rubric and list the expectations described in the Introduction/Motivation section.
  3. Who is your audience? Remind students that the purpose of the brochure is to be able to inform and educate a family member who would be in the scenario explained in the challenge question.


Brochures: Refer to the grading rubric to assess students' brochures; make sure they included all components.


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More Curriculum Like This

High School Lesson
Skeletal System Overview

Students learn about bone structure, bone development and growth, and bone functions. Later, they apply this understanding to answer the Challenge Question presented in the "Fix the Hip" lesson and use what they have learned to create informative brochures about osteoporosis and biomedical engineeri...

High School Unit
Skeletal System

Through this unit, written for an honors anatomy and physiology class, students become familiar with the human skeletal system and answer the Challenge Question.

High School Lesson
The Grand Challenge: Fix the Hip Challenge

This lesson introduces the Bone Module Grand Challenge question. Students individually write their initial responses to the question. Then they brainstorm ideas with another student. Then the ideas are shared with the class and recorded.

Middle School Lesson
What's Inside Your Bones?

After learning, comparing and contrasting the steps of the engineering design process (EDP) and scientific method, students review the human skeletal system, including the major bones, bone types, bone functions and bone tissues, as well as other details about bone composition. Students then pair-re...


© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2010 Vanderbilt University


Morgan Evans

Supporting Program

VU Bioengineering RET Program, School of Engineering, Vanderbilt University


The contents of this digital library curriculum were developed under National Science Foundation RET grant nos. 0338092 and 0742871. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the NSF, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Last modified: September 5, 2017

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