National Biomechanics Day is a virtual Success in sixth-annual celebration

On Wednesday, April 14, Elon University hosted high schoolers from ABSS Career and Technical Education Center to learn about biomechanics and health careers through student-led virtual activities and discussion. This was the sixth year celebrating National Biomechanics Day after last year's on-campus event had to be cancelled.

Each year, National Biomechanics Day (NBD) aims to celebrate the Breakthrough Science of the 21st century by teaching high school-aged students around the world about the field. This S.T.E.A.M.-based educational outreach event has reached over 20,000 students around the world.

For National Biomechanics Day this year, faculty and students from the Departments of Physical Therapy Education, Exercise Science and Performing Arts joyfully gathered on Wednesday, April 14, with students from Alamance Burlington School System’s Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) interested in the health sciences.

This year’s event was split into two virtual sessions with 17 participants in the morning session and 31 in the afternoon. In total, around 40 high school students joined online to learn about the field of biomechanics and career possibilities.

Associate Professor Jen Guy Metcalf, Associate Professor Srikant Vallabhajosula and Assistant Matthew Wittstein collaborated to provide a historical perspective of the field and a video tour of the Biomechanics Laboratory housed in the Gerald R. Francis Center.

Current Physical Therapy and undergraduate students then led breakout room activities to demonstrate principles of biomechanics, like Newton’s laws of motion, in relevant applications like sport, health, and occupational sciences. Some final remarks of encouragement were provided by Becky Neiduski, dean of the School of Health Sciences.

The leadership and support of Elon students made this virtual event a success! Ongoing collaboration with CTEC and participation in NBD aims to better expand S.T.E.A.M. based education and training to diverse future professionals.

Student volunteers included: Katherine Axness (Dance Performance ’21), Katie Balardi (DPT ’22), Maggie Davenport (Dance Performance and Dance Science ’23), Deanna DeMarco (DPT ’23), Sarah Henderson (DPT ’22), Allie Knuckles (DPT ’23), Anna Morton (Exercise Science ’23), Cassidy Perry (Dance Performance ’22), Emily Tufford (Exercise Science ’21), Stacey Walton (DPT ’23), and Brandi Wiltshire (DPT ’22)