In some parts of the world, people don’t have access to basic, life-saving medical equipment–like heart rate monitors. But an organization called Engineering World Health (EWH) is working hard to change that. EWH’s team of young scientists, doctors and engineers travel to under-resourced countries around the globe, using their skills to repair medical equipment, or to invent low-cost alternatives. KID Museum visitors had a chance to build one of these inventions for themselves: the optical heart rate monitor.

Adedayo Jobi-Odeneye, a biomedical engineering student who spent her summer working for EWH abroad, led the workshop. The kids watched a brief slide show on the need for innovative medical equipment, and then set to work constructing their own. The optical heart rate monitor is built with circuits and LEDs. Once finished, a working monitor measures a person’s heart rate through the fingertip and reflected in a blinking light.

For more about this workshop, see A Visit to KID Museum, EWH’s own blog about the event.