Students from Padua Academy walk on an adaptive treadmill and learn about improved rehabilitation techniques for stroke survivors developed by UD researchers at National Biomechanics Day on STAR Campus.
Students from Padua Academy walk on an adaptive treadmill and learn about improved rehabilitation techniques for stroke survivors developed by UD researchers at National Biomechanics Day on STAR Campus.

National Biomechanics Day

May 19, 2023 Written by Amy Cherry | Photos by Ashley Barnas

Local high school students explore careers in biomechanics on UD's STAR Campus

Wearing virtual reality headsets, Delaware high school students were transported to a different world, where they learned about balance in the University of Delaware’s Virtual Reality and Orthotics Gait Lab.

They were shown the links between orthopedics and engineering from a demo by The Perry Initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to inspire young women to pursue careers in engineering and medicine. It was co-founded by Jenni Buckley, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Lisa Latanza, chair of orthopedics at Yale University. 

“Women are often underrepresented in both fields,” said Kayla Pariser, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering and program fellow for The Perry Initiative

Students also learned how gait could be measured using wearable sensors. By walking on an adaptive treadmill, they were taught about how researchers develop improved rehabilitation techniques for stroke survivors. 

Just seven teens raised their hands when asked if they knew what biomechanics was at the start of UD’s celebration of National Biomechanics Day (NBD) on April 26, 2023. But by the time the immersive experience on UD’s Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus was complete, at least 100 kids from Padua Academy, William Penn High School, and Conrad Schools of Science saw a new career path for the first time.


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