SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Schools place added emphasis these days on teaching science. The goal is to help students learn why things happen the way they do. Some local high schoolers now have a better understanding of one particular science field thanks to “National Biomechanics Day”. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains.

Wyoming Valley West senior Rayn Bozek is kicking it old school.  But you’ve probably never seen the 1980s dance “The Running Man” done quite like this. Wearing special sensors, the Spartans cheerleading captain’s motions were depicted on a screen.  “It’s pretty cool just to see all the motions your body is doing. Even just the technology that they’re utilizing and how much it’s developed over time I guess. It’s pretty cool to see it.”

She and other Wyoming Valley West students attended “National Biomechanics Day” on Wednesday at the University of Scranton which hosts the annual event. “We’re able to get students to kind of light a fire for the sciences and especially in our young field to grow it as much as we can,” said University of Scranton Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Sport Bryon Applequist, Ph.D.

Using a three dimensional motion analysis system equipped with sensors and cameras, University of Scranton senior Bridget Duffy captures athletes’ form and function. She gains valuable information toward her exercise science degree. “We can use it for tracking to see what kind of training they’re using to maybe get an optical training program to prevent injuries.”

Another demonstration put Wyoming Valley West students through sensory organization tests to determine balance and posture. Yet another, investigated the body’s response to different types of muscle contractions.

This is more than just a fun foray into biomechanics engineering.  It gives University of Scranton majors in the field an opportunity to share what they’ve learned and discuss career opportunities. Personal trainers, physical therapists, and biomechanists are among the occupations available. Ms. Bozek said, “I know personally I want to be a physical therapist.” She added, “So this helps me out with seeing what it will be like when I get to that part of my life.” Dr. Applequist said, “It’s endless what we can actually do with a foundation in biomechanics.”