Things you didn’t learn in Phys. Ed.

By Joel McNally

This year’s Human Performance Lab High School Open House provided ample proof that Kinesiology isn’t the musclehead haven imagined by many.

On Mon., Nov. 26, students from eight high schools were invited see the HPL facilities. The HPL occupies a suite of offices arranged around an open two-storey room in Kinesiology B and is just over 31 years old.

"The HPL is one of the largest and best-equipped research centres in the world for musculo- skeletal research as it relates to movement and exercise," explained Kinesiology Communications and Community Advisor Sheila Rougeau. "Approximately fifty-five per cent of the world’s research in athletic footwear occurs here."

The HPL holds an open house every other year for high school students and schools participate on a first-come, first-served basis. The aim of the open house is to improve future enrolment in Kinesiology programs.

"We decided to hold open houses for high school students exclusively," said Rougeau. "It gives them a chance for more one-on-one instruction and participation."

A variety of demonstrations were set up for the event. Visitors tried different activities, including running past cameras while wearing reflective balls, having their breath collected while exercising and measuring their strength by squat lifting a broom handle.

The HPL holds open houses for the general public on alternating years and they are well attended.

"There is so much interest from high schools that we’ve had to turn several away this year," said Rougeau. "But they are so interested that a few always send classes to the public open house."

The majority of visitors present are taking related high school classes such as Sports Medicine 15 at St. Mary’s High School. Others study the subject as part of a project, such as a class from the Calgary Science School studying human performance.

"Participation was good," said Antra Rozitis, an HPL research assistant. "Many of the students have a background in physical therapy. If anything, I think they should be bringing in more students not already interested in the field to advertise to them."

Leave a comment