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.

Your mission

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


You should use objects you can find around the house to create your prosthetic (some examples are below).

We recommend that you use a sturdy material for your main “leg” portion and then add other materials to attach it to your knee and make it more comfortable. Take a video of you walking across a room or down a hallway.

Example materials

You can use these or any other materials you find around your house to work with:

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

Share some pictures of your creation online using the #NEM2021 or #NEGM2021 hashtag!