Concordia St. Paul News

April 27, 2016

Biology, Marketing Students Collaborate on Aging Study

Around 80 Concordia University marketing and biology students spent the past semester collaborating on a unique study utilizing aging suits. The blended teams from Dr. Nancy Harrower’s marketing class and Dr. Mary Ann Yang’s biology class investigated the body changes that take place as humans age, as well as how society can better adapt products and services for an aging population.

The aging suits helped young students understand the challenges of age – harnesses and bands that limit range of motion, strategically added weight, goggles that blur vision and more. Something as common as reaching for a bottle on a store shelf was seen through new eyes as students experienced first-hand another generation’s daily challenges.

“Many students are saying that they are viewing older people with fresh eyes and understanding some of the challenges that they face – difficulty maneuvering in homes, stores, malls and transportation.” Harrower said.

Teams noted the differences of doing routine activities such as shopping, household chores, and sports between a younger and older person and documented those challenges by creating a brief video. Students then wrote up recommendations to businesses on how to best serve an aging population based on those experiences.

Each student group learned from the other during the collaboration as the marketing students learned about scientific experimental design while the biology students gained insights on how to put together a marketing proposal.

View a few of the student videos below: