The Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research (COBR) celebrated National Biomechanics Day on April 7 by hosting an interactive experience for high school students and an open house for the community.
In the afternoon, 13 high school students, from Capital, Eagle, Bishop Kelly, and Timberline High Schools, visited the center to learn about the field of biomechanics: the study of movement in living beings. They used the center’s 3D motion capture technology and force plates to assess landing mechanics. The students were able to see the impact and ground reaction force of the participating students’ bodies while jumping onto the force plates. Students also tested their leg strength using a BIODEX dynamometer. Strength tests were performed at three different knee extension angles to see where the leg produces the most rotational force.
At the late afternoon community open house, Rylie Weldon wore a 3D motion capture suit – black spandex shirt and shorts with small reflective markers attached to the body at key locations along the joint and skeletal system – to demonstrate the technology. The audience watched on a monitor as Weldon walked, ran, and jumped across the force plates. The monitor showed her markers and force vectors as captured by the motion capture system and digitally rendered by the computer software. Tyler Brown, laboratory director and assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, and Kayla Seymore, laboratory manager and research associate for the center, explained the technology and how the digital markers are able to be transformed into a 3D skeletal model for movement analysis. Brown also shared the applications of such data and the aim of his current research studies.
Boise State’s first National Biomechanics Day was well attended and, judging by the comments heard from participants, it was well received.. High school students were engaged and excited to learn about biomechanics through hands-on experiments. Open house attendees were impressed with COBR’s biomechanics capabilities and research and happy for their children to get this experience. COBR is looking forward to making next year’s National Biomechanics Day bigger and even better.
To learn more about COBR, visit cobr.boisestate.edu.