Increase Students' Career Knowledge With Couragion's Biomedical And Materials Engineering Challenge

In my blog post last month, I shared details about the impetus for our Couragion Challenges. I summarized how our data shows that career exposure helps boost students’ interest and motivation in STEM careers and how our Career Challenges give students an even deeper understanding of jobs.

In that post, I highlighted one of our new Engineering Challenges which is focused on Manufacturing and helps students develop work-based learning skills in the areas of manufacturing systems, six sigma, engineering design, spatial reasoning, and measurement. In this post, I will focus on another new Engineering Challenge, our Biomedical and Materials Engineering Challenge.

Data from O*Net Online shows that today there are 21,300 people employed as Biomedical Engineers and that number is anticipated to grow at a rate of 7% from 2016 to 2026. A search on resulted in over 2,400 Biomedical Engineering job openings. For Materials Engineers, an search resulted in 55,000 job openings. There are currently 27,000 people employed as Materials Engineers and that number is expected to grow at a rate of 2% according to O*Net Online. Salaries for both of these Engineering fields is much stronger than the average wage in the United States of $44,564. Biomedical Engineers earn an average of $88,550 annually, while Materials Engineers earn an annual wage of $92,390.

Biomedical and Materials Engineering offers high pay and decent demand. In addition, it is one of the strongest Engineering fields when it comes to being a ‘Best Fit’ for students’. A Couragion ‘Best Fit’ indicates that the career is a great match for students’ interests, values, and desired work characteristics. 56% of all students received a Couragion 'Best Fit' for this career. The top reasons why students received ‘Best Fits’ were liking the job tasks such as designing and developing medical/diagnostic equipment and performing research; appreciating the high salary and job openings growth rate; helping humans and animals; and the opportunity to discover new technologies. 46% of students share positive sentiments about this career in their verbatim feedback. The top positive sentiment themes were liking that the job helped people and animals; appreciating the opportunity to innovate and discover new things; the ability to conduct research and experiments; and thinking that the job was fun/cool/interesting. Student’s verbatim comments give further insight into the aspects of the career that they find appealing:

  • “Helping others & making everyone have a better & healthier life would be astonishing. Creating inventions to treat patients better & cure their viruses sounds amazing.” - Male of Color, 10th Grader

  • “It looks exciting when she is working in the lab and growing bacteria.” - Female of Color, 10th Grader

  • “A perfect fit because I can run experiments to see what works.” - Male of Color, 10th Grader

With Couragion’s new Biomedical and Materials Engineering Challenge, students get to dive into the specific tasks performed in such a career. In this Challenge, students take on the role of working at a biotechnology company that makes medical devices using biomimicry - innovations that are inspired by (or mimic) nature, plants, animals, or biological systems. Students perform research on a 3-D printed wound dressing designed to improve the healing of deep cuts & major burns. Through this scenario, they build skills in the areas of biological systems, medical technologies, engineering design, information gathering, industry standards, and spatial reasoning.

By completing this Challenge, students can further evaluate if Biomedical and Materials Engineering is a potential career path for them and they also gain relevant work-based learning experience. Armed with such knowledge and experience, students’ often have increased confidence to pursue Engineering pathways.

Couragion’s Challenges cover computer science, technology, data, and engineering topics. The Challenges easily integrate into CTE, CS, STEM, and career exploration classes in both middle and high school. To see our Challenges in action, contact us to schedule a 30 minute demo session (

Biomedical & Materials Engineer

Biomedical & Materials Engineer

Biomimicry Medical Device Inspired By Shark Skin

Biomimicry Medical Device Inspired By Shark Skin

Laura FarrellyComment