Elon PT, Exercise Science, Performing Arts students spend National Biomechanics Day with ABSS students interested in health sciences

On Wednesday, April 6, Elon students and faculty visited high school students at ABSS Career and Technical Education Center to learn about biomechanics and health careers through student-led activities and discussions.

Each year, National Biomechanics Day aims to celebrate the breakthrough science of the 21st century by teaching high school students around the world about the field. The S.T.E.A.M.-based educational outreach event has reached more than 20,000 students around the world.

A student balances on a foam mat while learning about how biomechanics can influence postural control.

For National Biomechanics Day at Elon this year, faculty and students from the departments of Physical Therapy Education, Exercise Science and Performing Arts collaborated with students from Alamance Burlington School System’s Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) interested in the health sciences on Wednesday, April 6.

The event was split into two in-person sessions at the CTEC, with 75 high school students learning about the field of biomechanics and career possibilities.

Students learned about how biomechanics in jumping tasks can change when you have to make a decision or when you are encouraged.

Associate Professor Srikant Vallabhajosula, Associate Professor Matthew Wittstein, Professor Joyce Davis, Associate Professor Jen Guy and Assistant Professor Jasmine Powell collaborated to plan stations that gave insight into the diverse field of biomechanics.

Doctor of Physical Therapy student Allie Knuckles also received a Women in Biomechanics Outreach Through National Biomechanics Day Grant to conduct both in-person and virtual National Biomechanics Day events this year.

Two students complete a maze drawing task as they learn about manual dexterity, planning movements, and the trade-off between speed and accuracy.

Current physical therapy and undergraduate students led stations that gave students hands-on experience with different aspects of biomechanics, such as vertical jumping, strength, motor control, manual dexterity, gait and balance.

The leadership and support of Elon students made this in-person 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. Inspiration was taken from Auburn University’s list of activities to celebrate National Biomechanics Day.

Student volunteers included:

  • Maggie Davenport ’23, dance performance and dance science 
  • Deanna DeMarco DPT’23
  • Allie Knuckles DPT’23
  • Brandi Wiltshire DPT’22
  • Bridgette Macapagal DPT‘23
  • Lindsey Garrett DPT‘23
  • Brendal Vargo DPT‘23
  • Lauren Weinberg ’22, dance performance and dance science
  • Roxy Geballe ’24, exercise science
  • Jaclyn Ross DPT‘22
  • Kelly O’Daniel DPT‘24
  • Britt Dixon DPT‘24
  • Katie Jones DPT ‘24
  • Alexander Japit DPT‘24
  • Emma Morris ’25, dance performance and dance science
  • Sarah Henderson DPT’22
  • Smythe Lefebvre ’23, exercise science
  • Brianna Young ’24, exercise science
  • Ashlyn Loring DPT’24
  • Caroline Guill DPT‘24
  • Stephen Parsons DPT‘23
  • Megan McCallister DPT‘23
  • Haley Langley DPT‘24
  • Tyanna Eaddy-Harris DPT‘22
  • Erin Allen DPT‘24
  • Catherine Furin DPT‘24
  • Will Duncan ’25, engineering 
  • Grace London ’25, biochemistry