Welcome to BEST Medicine!

At the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, we are committed to stimulating the interest and participation in science among students, like you!  To go along with this commitment, we put together the “BEST Medicine” Engineering Fair where you can play a part in the science behind biomedical innovation, and share in the innovation happening throughout Northeast Ohio today.

The “BEST Medicine” Engineering Fair links the top scientific student minds in Northeast Ohio with key players in the Biomedical Engineering and Research fields throughout the City of Akron.  It allows students to apply their scientific skills and innovative minds to biomedical engineering, and to leverage their strengths in unique and challenging ways.

So, if you are ready to begin the journey towards scientific and biomedical discovery, join the ranks of student inventors and compete in the “BEST Medicine” Engineering Fair.

For more information on BEST Medicine, contact us.

Getting Started

Whether you are searching for ideas, looking for advice, or simply want to know more about how to get your project rolling, you’ve come to the right place! Being part of a regional science fair focused on biomedical devices and engineering is very exciting. As you discover, develop, and eventually present your project, you will be given the opportunity to problem-solve, think creatively, experiment, and work with scientific data.

ABIA realizes that such a large project can be very overwhelming, and developing important science skills is a huge challenge! Therefore, we have developed a few basic steps to help you get started. By following these simple guidelines, we at BEST Medicine hope to make you less nervous, and more excited about being part of our rewarding competition!

STEP I: Research

BEST Advice: Use curiosity and an open mind!

The first step toward developing an engineering project is to learn about past and present scientists. Set aside a few days to become familiar with the innovation process. Gather information about past inventors and scientists and their inventions or research. As you gather information, keep in mind any previous successes or failures, and the reasons why each individual decided to work on a specific project. Innovative projects could be an invention, an improvement of an existing product, or a better method for doing something. As a student, try to focus on researching information related to your personal interests! This will help make your project even more exciting.

STEP II: Discovering a project

BEST Advice: Ask a lot of questions!

As you research fields that interest you, try to look for problems to solve. Is there an easier way to accomplish something? Is there a device that would make surgery more efficient? Is there a need for a practical model for a medical issue? Finding a need to fulfill or a problem to solve is the most important part of your project. Be sure the topic is related to medicine, but remember to focus on something related to your interests!

If you are having trouble thinking of a project, or you just need some help to start brainstorming, check out our 2012 Project Ideas (PDF) for over 100 projects to choose from and helpful links to innovative ideas!

STEP III: Developing and Testing

BEST Advice: Stay positive, be creative, and don’t give up!

After you have identified a problem that needs solving, try to think of creative ways to do it. You may want to do additional research at this point, or you may want to talk to people who have additional knowledge about your topic. Once you have an idea about how to solve the problem, write out a hypothesis for your project. Typically, a hypothesis is constructed in an “IF…THEN…” format. This statement should briefly explain how you intend to solve the problem. In addition, be sure to write out a plan for all of your work. A successful project always begins with an organized plan, which should include items such as:

  • Literature that you use for ideas
  • People that have helped you problem solve
  • Materials that are needed for the project
  • Controlling the cost of the invention
  • Steps throughout the process that you will follow
  • A timeline for the entire project
  • How you plan to test your idea/invention
  • How you plan to make your project safe

Now for the fun part! This is where you really get to put your creative ability to the test. Think of new ways to problem solve as you try to fix the problem you have identified in STEP II, and test your hypothesis. Begin with an idea, draw a sketch, and then get your hands on some materials and start building as you put your plan to action! Remember that “trial and error” is a key part to the innovative process. Do not get discouraged if one idea fails. Instead, focus on ways to improve the design, change the plan, or other ways to solve the same problem. As you continue with STEP III make sure you record data as you test your hypothesis. Record the data along with the time and date during testing. It is very important to keep the data neat and organized, because this is what you will eventually present to the judges at the BEST Medicine science fair!

STEP IV: Complete your presentation

BEST Advice: Be organized and focus on details!

This step is where you will formulate all of your hard work onto paper. Remember, good science must be recorded. Therefore, as you type up your final report, be sure to include as much information as possible. Clearly define the problem you worked to solve. Explain the methods you used to solve the problem and the type of testing you conducted throughout the process. Next, be sure to clearly display all of your scientific data. Lastly, briefly analyze and discuss the data you collected. You may want to include a section that summarizes all of your conclusions and what your project has accomplished. For help writing the paper for your project, refer to the 2013 BEST Medicine Student Handbook and Application*(PDF) which contains hints, guidelines and examples of important sections for your paper.

Make your poster unique! You want to stand out among the other competitors. Display your hypothesis, data, and conclusions clearly, but be sure to grab the attention of the judges. If you developed a new product or device, be sure to bring it along so that you may show/demonstrate your work to the judges.

STEP V: Present at BEST Medicine!

BEST Advice: Stand out, be confident, and have fun!

This is where all of your hard work finally pays off. Review all of your materials and data the night before to make sure your project is fresh in your mind and that you are able to speak clearly about all of your hard work. You might even want to practice your presentation to a small group of family/friends prior to the actual contest. At the fair, remember to be confident and to answer questions directly. Always make eye contact with the judges during your presentation and convince them that your project is important for the entire world! Show off your project and, most importantly, have fun!

*To apply for BEST Medicine click the How to Apply tab on BEST Medicine’s homepage http://www.abiakron.org/bestmedicine.