Technical Education Post

News and Information for Technical Educators

Engineer a Cane

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on how engineers improve assistive devices such as a cane to meet the needs of the elderly. Students work in teams to re-engineer a cane for a “client.” They are assigned a client profile, develop a design to suit the needs of the user, and those in older grades build a working prototype of their design.
  • Learn about assistive devices and technology.
  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society’s challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • assistive devices and technology
  • interaction of technology and societal issues
  • engineering design
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 
Students explore the impact of assistive technology on meeting the needs of society. They work in teams to reengineer an assistive device — in this case a cane — to meet the needs of a client. They develop a new design with features to assist the client’s specific needs, present new designs to their class, and older students will develop a prototype of their design.
  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)

Full Lesson Plan PDF 
Student Worksheets

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.


Tom Shaw

Technical Education Post, Online Publisher

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