On April 17, 2019 Elon University celebrated its 4 annual National Biomechanics Day at Elon University.
National Biomechanics Day is a worldwide celebration of biomechanics in its many forms for high school students and teachers. The American Society of Biomechanics started National Biomechanics Day as an educational outreach to enhance the awareness of a cutting-edge science and promote its education prior to the collegiate level.
Broadly, biomechanics is the study of life using the tools of physics or mechanics. This general definition is often applied to the study of human movement and in understanding how injury can affect movement performance.
This year, more than 40 students from the Career and Technology Education Center, which is part of the Alamance Burlington School System, participated in Elon's National Biomechanics Day event. The event was organized by three Elon University departments: Exercise Science, Performing Arts (Dance Science), and Physical Therapy Education.
Elon’s National Biomechanics Day started with opening remarks about biomechanics and its importance in life. After opening remarks, a mix of Elon faculty, graduate and undergraduate student volunteers from three departments guided the high school students through discussion and activities to showcase the role of biomechanics in improving human performance.
Stations were designed to demonstrate running, jumping, and balance as well as the associated technologies used to study and assess these activities. High school students rotated through three stations. Students learned about three-dimensional motion capture and force plates to study jumping and squatting motion; anti-gravity treadmill to demonstrate when and how it can be used; Biodex balance system to learn how to measure and improve balance.
Faculty members FJ Goodwin, Shefali Christopher, Simon Higgins, Joyce Davis, Srikant Vallabhajosula, Matthew Wittstein, Jennifer Guy, and Sue Chinworth (retired faculty member) and student volunteers guided students through the stations and provided clinical and research expertise to help the discussion and demonstration of specific equipment that is used in biomechanics.
Next year Elon will mark its 5th annual National Biomechanics Day. This event will continue to serve the community by providing an engaged opportunity to learn about biomechanics.