High school students learn the science of movement from MTU

CHASSELL — High school students are learning about the movement functions of their bodies this week. Michigan Technological University’s Department of Physiology is visiting Keweenaw-area high schools with a hands on demonstration as part of International Biology Week.

No, this is a construction site relay, but an obstacle course.

“We designed an activity today for the students. So we wanted to delver an activity where students had to roll up their sleeves, actually build a device, when attached to your body would make it harder to turn,” said Dr. Steven Elmer, physiology professor at MTU.

Chassell High School students are testing the limitations of how the human body moves by suiting up with a home made body rig that mimics the effects of wide radius motion. Students participated in a course race while carrying the wooden frame that slows movement and makes it a little more difficult to perform regular functions of the human body, such as turning and changing directions.

Professor Elmer and his team have been visiting are high schools to educate students on the subject of body movements and its relationship to physiology, psychology and neuroscience.

“You know we, we walk through out the day and about fifty percent of our steps throughout the day involve turning. We know very little about turning, we know a lot about how you walk. Students had to navigate their way through a Slalom race course either with or without this wooden device that made it harder to turn. They compared their times, they graphed their results, and then we applied the results to certainly turning performance and Olympic sports to rehabilitation and even dinosaur evolution,” said Elmer.

They also visited Houghton, Dollar Bay, Baraga, Lake Linden and Ontanogon schools.