Students leap for National Biomechanics Day


GISBORNE students had a chance to learn about biomechanics earlier this week in a series of workshops that were part of New Zealand’s first National Biomechanics Day.

Biomechanics is the study of forces and their effects on living systems.

The project is being led by Dr Sarah Shultz of Massey University’s School of Sport and Exercise, and is a collaboration between Auckland University of Technology and the universities of Auckland, Canterbury, Otago and Waikato.

Dr Shultz said the biomechanics researchers of New Zealand wanted to share their passion for this unknown science with students across the country.

“Because every action involves a relationship between forces and motion, biomechanics can be applied to everything we do. It is versatile and it is fascinating.”

Students from Ilminster Intermediate, Gisborne Girls’ High School and Lytton High took part in the workshops held at Lytton High.

These included experiments by Massey University graduate students studying sports and exercise science.

One test involved a footscan system that registered the centre of pressure when stood on.

In another, sensors attached to students’ legs were simulated on a screen as they kicked a virtual ball.

This is the same technology used in gaming to simulate real human movement.

PhD student Stacey Kung measured leg power to see if there was a correlation between how high a student could jump and their sprint performance. This test is used to assess athletes and help them improve.

In basketball, they can measure team members before and after their season to see whether there has been any improvement, she said.

The workshop was a way to expose students to hands-on experiential learning activities centred around biomechanics research.

It was a practical introduction to biomechanics as part of the study of sport and exercise science.

Part of the Government’s A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri/Te Mahara project, it is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable Fund.

GISBORNE students had a chance to learn about biomechanics earlier this week in a series of workshops that were part of New Zealand’s first National Biomechanics Day.

Biomechanics is the study of forces and their effects on living systems.

The project is being led by Dr Sarah Shultz of Massey University’s School of Sport and Exercise, and is a collaboration between Auckland University of Technology and the universities of Auckland, Canterbury, Otago and Waikato.

Dr Shultz said the biomechanics researchers of New Zealand wanted to share their passion for this unknown science with students across the country.

“Because every action involves a relationship between forces and motion, biomechanics can be applied to everything we do. It is versatile and it is fascinating.”

Students from Ilminster Intermediate, Gisborne Girls’…

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