Outreach

National Biomechanics Day

Our lab participates yearly in National Biomechanics Day, a world-wide celebration of biomechanics in its many forms for high school students and teachers. For this event, the University of Delaware hosts ~170 students from five different high schools in the area. Students are given tours of each of the biomechanics labs to learn more about the world class research being conducted here at STAR campus.

For this event, our lab demos belt accelerations during walking where the students can watch the belt accelerate as an individual pushes off to increase push-off force using an adaptive split-belt treadmill. We also have a demo with our lower-extremity hip exoskeleton that we use for gait training, in which students can watch the exoskeleton on a user during walking in transparent and torque input modes and see the change in hip extension through a visual display.

BRAIN Day

This year, for the first time, our lab participated in BRAIN Day, a day-long event to expose the field of human movement to elementary students, coordinated by Dr. Joshua Cashaback and Seth Sullivan at the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Delaware. The goal of BRAIN day to was to teach local 5th grade students about the mechanisms of human movement and how we can use science and technology to help those living with neuromotor disorders. Our graduate students led  multiple groups of 7-10 students through various activities and demonstrations on the mechanics of walking and discussed how we can use exoskeletons and robotics to train individuals to walk better. Students learned how gait exoskeletons work and saw the exoskeleton in action on the treadmill. Our graduate students have a passion for promoting STEM-related careers to the next generation and increasing the accessibility of scientific research to middle and high-schoolers through hands-on activities.

STEAM Outreach Day

Our lab participated in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) Outreach Day hosted by Project Brain Light at the University of Delaware. During STEAM Day local middle schools visit the University of Delaware to learn about opportunities available in science and research. At the event, exhibits are set up with interactive demos for students to go around and learn about a variety of different STEAM topics. Our group led an interactive demo on MuscleTogether involving the use of two joysticks that either controlled a flexor or extensor muscle in the wrist and students had to work together to reach different targets on the screen.

Joystick Game Video

Perry Initiative

We also support the Perry Initiative, a non-profit organization head-quartered at the University of Delaware, that is committed to inspiring young women to be leaders in the fields of Orthopaedic Surgery and Engineering. Our graduate student, Andria Farrens is a Perry Initiative program specialist, who travels around the country running hands-on outreach programs for young women in high school, college, and medical school.

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