South Kingstown High School students celebrate National Biomechanics Day at University of Rhode Island

URI, Brown host Biomechanics Day to promote STEAM education

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |
Just one of the activities students participated in for National Biomechanics Day. URI photo by Nora Lewis.

KINGSTON, R.I.- May 1, 2019- Recently, students from South Kingstown High School gathered in Independence Square on the University of Rhode Island Kingston campus as part of a celebration of National Biomechanics Day 2019.

The University of Rhode Island’s Department of Kinesiology and the Bioengineering Laboratory in the Department of Orthopaedics at Brown University partnered to celebrate National Biomechanics Day, bringing students together to engage in activities to bolster awareness about biomechanics.

Among the activities students were able to witness or take part in were demonstrations of motion capture technology, balance and sway, an instrumented football helmet that measures the impact of concussions and hits, wearable sensors and virtual reality and electromyography (EMG) devices, which assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them.

(1) South Kingstown High School student participating in National Biomechanics Day 2019 at URI. URI photo by Nora Lewis.

“The students enjoyed the interactive aspects of the trip,” said Michael Lobdell, a teacher at South Kingstown High School. “They were able to explore virtual reality and try some of the motion sensitive tools in the department of kinesiology. Without a doubt, that type of experiential learning is very memorable.”

He added, “They were also very enthusiastic speaking to undergraduates in the program, learning what they do, what their classes are like and what the kinesiology program is like.”

Biomechanics combines science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics and is a fundamental example of STEM/STEAM educational initiatives with far-reaching influence. It is a factor in the development of physical therapy and rehabilitation programs, prosthetics, medical devices, surgical approaches and much more, including robotics and special effects.

“Many people don’t realize that there is so much within biomechanics to be excited about that they’re just unaware of,” explained Susan D’Andrea, professor in the department of Kinesiology. “Things like running analysis and virtual reality are good ways to engage students in STEM without them even knowing. Biomechanics is everywhere in our everyday lives.” 

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.