Engineering design challenge: Leg to stand on

Engineers and geoscientists play an important part in protecting the public, including designing medical equipment! One type of medical equipment that is designed by mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineers are prosthetic limbs for people who are missing arms or legs. Engineers must work with medical doctors to ensure that prosthetics are comfortable, functional, and improve a person’s quality of life.


Create a below-the-knee prosthetic out of household objects and use it to walk across a room.


Instruct participants to use objects they can find around the house to create their prosthetic (some examples are below).

We recommend that using a sturdy material for the main “leg” portion and then add other materials to attach it to participants' knees and make it more comfortable. Take a video of participants walking across a room or down a hallway.

Example materials

Instruct participants to use these or any other materials they find around their house to work with:

  • Cardboard tubes
  • Scrap wood
  • Metal recycling
  • A clean plunger
  • Pilons
  • Sponges
  • Pillows
  • Tape
  • String