Engineers play an integral role in the process of finding a “perfect” material or ratio of materials to maximize the desired properties and decrease the amount of negative effects of other properties. For example, when developing the perfect material for use in contacts, an engineer will have to test many different materials before finding the right one. Therefore, testing a hydrogel, which is favorable for all three of the main properties needed for a contact lens to function properly seems to be logical. A hydrogel is a polymer similar to plastic, which has favorable optical properties and favorable flexibility/strength but like paper and glasses/ceramics is hydrophilic, which is necessary for a contact lens to function properly. The main job of a biomedical engineer developing contact lenses today is to make a hydrogel and find the perfect “ratio” of polymer to water. The composition of the hydrogel needs to be hydrophilic enough to maintain a wet environment in the eye but not too hydrophilic so that the contact begins to swell and change size and shape. Students will engineer a lens using 2 different materials. They will determine the correct material and the concentration that has similar properties as a contact lens, while discovering the correct optical properties, tensile strength and hydrophobicity. Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)* Disciplinary Core Ideas: ETS1.A; ETS1.B; ETS1.C; PS1.A Performance Expectations: MS-ETS1-1; MS- ETS1-3; MS- ETS1-4; HS-PS1-3; HS-ETS1-2 Cross Cutting Concepts: Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World; Patterns Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations Kit Includes: 300g Gelatin Powder 15 pieces Zinc Metal 15 Plastic Pipettes 45 Petri Dishes 100 Glass Cover Slips 15 pieces Chromatography Paper 15 Plastic Microscope Slides 15 Glass Microscope Slides 1pkg Toothpicks 1 bar Soap DOT Info: Non-regulated *”Next Generation Science Standards” is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.