Faculty members and students from Department of Performing Arts, Department of Exercise Science and Department of Physical Therapy Education led an interactive, hands-on STEAM-based session for students from Elon Academy at the Francis Center.
Fifteen students and two staff members from Elon Academy visited the Francis Center on June 15 to engage in health-science related activities. The setup consisted of three separate activities.
First, Svetlana Nepocatych, professor of exercise science along with Christina Westbrooks ’23 talked about the importance of physical health and wellbeing as it relates to chronic disease development such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In addition, they demonstrated measurements typically used in clinical research including arterial stiffness and body composition assessments. Westbrooks will be starting in Elon’s DPT program in January 2024.
For the second activity, Jack Magill, assistant professor in physical therapy education, and Caroline Guill, second-year DPT student, engaged the students in show-casing the new Human Performance Laboratory at the Francis Center. They had the students perform strength tests and discussed the importance with respect to human performance and injury.
For the last activity, Matthew Wittstein, associate professor in exercise science and Jasmine Powell, assistant professor in performing arts, interacted with the students in the biomechanics laboratory. Students learned how the motion capture technology could be used in various fields like dance science, sports science and physical therapy to enhance performance. Students also used the Neurocom Balance Master to test their balance under different challenging conditions to understand and appreciate the role of balance in these different fields.
Srikant Vallabhajosula, associate professor in physical therapy education, helped coordinate the event in collaboration with Katie Wicke LaPlante, assistant director of counseling and family programs for Elon Academy.