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Work in Progress: Evaluation of Biomechanics Activities at a College-Wide Engineering Outreach Event

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical

Page Count

5

DOI

10.18260/p.27224

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27224

Download Count

92

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Paper Authors

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Carrie A. Francis University of Wisconsin - Madison Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1235-7221

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Carrie Francis is a Ph.D. Candidate in biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has previously received degrees in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (B.S.) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.S.). Her disciplinary research focuses on walking and balance in old adults with an emphasis on gait variability and rehabilitation. Her interests include outreach to K12 students and improving science literacy among non-STEM major students.

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Rachel L Lenhart University of Wisconsin - Madison

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Rachel Lenhart, PhD, is currently a medical student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, before completing her doctoral degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focused on the influence of surgery on musculoskeletal mechanics in children with abnormal gait patterns. More globally, she is interested in improving clinical outcomes as well as education in the fields of biomechanics, orthopedics, and rehabilitation.

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Jason R. Franz University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University

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Jason Franz is Assistant Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, and Director of the UNC/NC State Applied Biomechanics Laboratory. He received B.S. (2004) and M.S. (2006) degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech and served for three years as a biomechanist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Virginia. Dr. Franz then earned his Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology in 2012 from the University of Colorado Boulder. His primary research seeks to discover the musculoskeletal and sensorimotor adaptations that underlie a loss of independent mobility, and to introduce creative new approaches for preserving walking ability and preventing falls.

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Jarred Kaiser Boston University

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Jarred Kaiser is a post-doctoral researcher at Boston University. He has previously earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Ohio State University (B.S.) and University of Wisconsin - Madison (M.S., Ph.D.). His research focuses on imaging the multiscalar effects of altered mechanics due to injury/surgery on tissue health.

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Joseph Towles PhD University of Wisconsin - Madison

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Joseph Towles is a Faculty Associate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Joe completed his PhD in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University and a research post-doctoral fellowship in the Sensory Motor Performance Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of engineering education and neuromuscular biomechanics. With respect to engineering education, Joe focuses on assessment and evaluation of student learning; and innovation and research in approaches to enhance student learning. Concerning neuromuscular biomechanics, Joe’s research interests are in translational studies aimed at elucidating the mechanics and control of the hand following neurologic and musculoskeletal injury with the goal of developing innovative rehabilitative and surgical interventions that improve grasp function. Computational and experimental approaches are used to investigate intrinsic characteristics of muscles, neuromuscular control and sensorimotor integration in the context of functional restoration of grasp.

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Abstract

Biomechanics is a growing field spanning, for example, mechanical, biomedical, and materials engineering, as well as physical therapy, and kinesiology. The field is inherently interdisciplinary to an extent that may not be well emphasized in K12 science programs. In an effort to understand the preparation of late primary – secondary school students in areas related to biomechanics, we conducted pre- and post- surveys of school groups planning to attend a biannual engineering outreach event at the (University Name). Specifically, we sought to evaluate the educational and inspirational impact of interactive biomechanics-related activities provided for attendees. These activities included measuring jump height with a Microsoft Kinect, power output on a stationary bicycle, center of pressure movement on a Wii balance board, and balance while walking in a virtual hallway. For this project, we conducted surveys of three school groups representing a total of 57 students from fifth through eighth grades. There were three types of questions included in the survey – those that assessed biomechanical concepts, interest in the field, and application to related professions. Prior to attending the event, most students answered the conceptual questions correctly and interest in engineering and biomechanics was neutral. Students’ opinion of the applicability of biomechanics to various professions was strongly divided in most cases with some students believing biomechanics to be very important and a similar number deeming it irrelevant. Following the event, students generally provided significantly (p < 0.05, t-tests) different answers to conceptual questions that were directly tied to an activity. At the same time, students’ answers to concept questions that were indirectly tied to an activity did not change. Pooled together, the students tended to be more interested in engineering after the event (p = 0.11) but showed no change in their interest in biomechanics (p = 0.6). However one school group of 5th through 8th graders showed a non-significant increase (p = 0.08) in biomechanics interest, while a group of 5th graders showed a non-significant decrease (p = 0.14) in biomechanics interest. Responses to careers related to biomechanics suggest that interactive biomechanics activities should emphasize these connections.

Francis, C. A., & Lenhart, R. L., & Franz, J. R., & Kaiser, J., & Towles, J. (2016, June), Work in Progress: Evaluation of Biomechanics Activities at a College-Wide Engineering Outreach Event Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27224

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