High Point University welcomes more than 100 High School Students for National Biomechanics Day Celebration
HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University welcomed more than 100 Southwest Guilford High School students that took part in a National Biomechanics Day celebration, hosted by HPU’s Department of Physical Therapy.
The event engaged visiting students in the cutting-edge technology and research that takes place in HPU’s Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab and Virtual Reality and Clinical Gait Analysis Lab. These labs are housed in the Congdon School of Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art facility that just opened last fall.
HPU faculty, staff and students from multiple disciplines, including physical therapy, exercise science, engineering and athletic training, work together in these labs on research to prevent injury and provide clinical care to restore movement and function.
The event began with a short presentation by Dr. Kevin Ford, director of the biomechanics laboratory and associate professor of physical therapy in the School of Health Sciences. Students then toured the facility and rotated through various experiential lab activities led by HPU faculty, undergraduates and graduate students.
“National Biomechanics Day has been an exciting event for us to take part in for the last three years,” said Ford, who organized the event. “It’s great to be part of something that labs across the nation are recognizing and to see hundreds of high school students get excited about science.”
The high school students participated in interactive experiments and demonstrations highlighting the role of biomechanics in a variety of health sciences fields.
“This is my first time seeing the biomechanics lab, and it’s really eye-opening to see firsthand how things are measured and tested,” said Jessica Baxley, a student from Southwest Guilford. “I’m currently enrolled in health science and sports medicine courses, and I want to become an athletic trainer. So visiting HPU and learning from these professors is extremely interesting to me.”
Nita Canon, a health sciences teacher at Southwest Guilford High School, sees these visits as a work-based learning opportunity for her students.
“Coming to HPU provides a connection to the real world,” she said. “This biomechanics lab is more than just a state-of-the-art facility; it’s a means of encouraging them to pursue the health care field. Classroom teachings are reinforced when they get to actually experience it.
“When I heard that HPU was opening a School of Health Sciences, I reached out to inquire about collaborative opportunities, and I was pleasantly surprised at how open and inviting the staff and faculty have been. Since then, I’ve been constantly connecting with the HPU staff and students in this school to have them come speak at our class. It’s our number one partnership.”
The event gave students the chance to see the labs’ specialized technology in action, including:
— High definition golf simulator and high-speed swing analyzer, which allows for detailed study of the golf swing
— A 3D motion capture area with sophisticated motion-tracking cameras and force plates
— The gravity-altering treadmill that uses air to change a person’s body weight with in-shoe plantar pressure distribution to assess running technique
— An environmental chamber that creates freezing to hot conditions and elevations up to 14,000 feet above sea level
— High speed barefoot gait analysis that provides a 3D scan of the foot and measures high pressure areas with a portable handheld device
— Instrumented treadmill with virtual reality technology that immerses a person in a variety of uphill and downhill interactive environments
HPU’s event was among many National Biomechanics Day events happening across the country.
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with more than 4,900 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South, No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2018 edition of “The Best 382 Colleges” in the nation, as well as Best Career Services (No. 19), Best-Run Colleges (No. 20), Best College Dorm Rooms (No. 7), a Great School for Communication Majors and a Great School for Business/Finance Majors. For seven years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for business and education programs, and The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks HPU’s elementary education program as one of the best in the nation. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 57 undergraduate minors and 13 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the web at highpoint.edu.