Mans­field stu­dents on­snow science at Mt Buller

Mansfield Courier - - PROPERTY - By GE­OFF WALKER (MSC Buller An­nex)

STU­DENTS at Mans­field Sec­ondary Col­lege’s Mt Buller An­nex had a unique and in­spir­ing five days of ac­tiv­i­ties pro­vided by ‘Bi­o­LAB’ last week.

Bi­o­LAB is a Science and Math­e­mat­ics Spe­cial­ist Cen­tre (based in Gee­long) and set up un­der the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s ‘En­er­gis­ing Science and Math­e­mat­ics Strat­egy’.

Bi­o­LAB pro­vides on-site science and math­e­mat­ics pro­grams with a theme of “Hu­man Per­for­mance and Sport” and are de­signed around var­i­ous Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Maths ca­reer path­ways and are tai­lored to cater for mul­ti­ple cur­ricu­lum ar­eas.

Across the week MSC stu­dents were set up with heart rate mon­i­tors and GPS units dur­ing their on- snow train­ing each morn­ing, with data down­loaded each day.

Data i ncluded min­i­mum, max­i­mum and av­er­age speed, me­tres per minute, al­ti­tude and ver­ti­cal me­tres, aer­o­bic and anaer­o­bic zones com­pared to speed and heart rate, and where on a run this all oc­curred us­ing a map over­lay.

Stu­dents were able to in­ves­ti­gate per­for­mance anal­y­sis and im­prove­ment as well as the hu­man car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem, fo­cus­ing on the heart and cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem, in­tro­duc­ing ap­pli­ca­tions of med­i­cal tech­nolo­gies and ex­er­cise science equip­ment.

They learnt about their own car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem, col­lected and an­a­lysed their own heart rate data us­ing graphs, and math­e­mat­i­cal anal­y­sis tech­niques.

The ‘Eye in the Sky’ ses­sion ex­posed stu­dents to lead­ing edge GPS ath­lete track­ing equip­ment in­clud­ing real time feed­back sys­tem mea­sur­ing dis­tance, speed and heart rate.

Stu­dents utilised lap­top and iPads for skills-map­ping and biome­chan­i­cal anal­y­sis, gen­er­at­ing their very own pri­mary data sets in ar­eas such as work to rest ra­tios, move­ment and lo­co­mo­tor pat­terns, and skill fre­quen­cies.

Three staff mem­bers from Deakin Univer­sity En­gi­neer­ing Depart­ment also con­ducted en­gag­ing work­shops, in­clud­ing look­ing at how tech­nol­ogy is used on-snow and chal­leng­ing stu­dents to de­velop ideas in im­prov­ing equip­ment and com­po­nents they use on-snow, as well as how tech­nol­ogy can be used in prod­uct re-de­vel­op­ment in­clud­ing the use of 3-D print­ers.

Cloth­ing sys­tem eval­u­a­tion and ma­te­ri­als test­ing was also another prac­ti­cal com­po­nent.

Stu­dents had the chance to per­form a num­ber of in­dus­try tests which gave them an in­sight into hu­man phys­i­ol­ogy, ther­mal imag­ing, textile and fi­bre test­ing and de­vel­op­ment of cut­ting edge sport equip­ment from con­cept to the con­sumer.

A fi­nal work­shop in­cluded class­room based equip­ment test­ing analysing the hy­dropho­bic­ity of ski and snow­board bases as well as on-snow based prac­ti­cal eval­u­a­tion of wax­ing.

The stu­dents cer­tainly had an en­gag­ing and won­der­ful in­sight into rel­e­vant ap­pli­ca­tions across maths, science and tech­nol­ogy, health and sports bio­sciences.

They will con­tinue work util­is­ing data as well as tasks they will com­plete across the re­main­der of the term.

The Bi­o­LAB team were a dy­namic and mo­ti­vat­ing team and to­gether with the ex­per­tise of the Deakin staff, have cer­tainly inspired the stu­dents, who are hop­ing to utilise their ser­vices again next year.

Mans­field Sec­ondary Col­lege An­nex staff and stu­dents are grate­ful to Buller Ski Lifts who pro­vided lift ac­cess and equip­ment for the vis­it­ing staff and Mt Buller Alpine Re­sort Man­age­ment Board who pro­vided re­sort en­try and class­room space as well as to the coaches from TBR, MBRC and TSC who helped with the on-snow lo­gis­tics for data col­lec­tion.

PHOTO: An­drew Rail­ton Mt Buller

FEAR­ING WA­TER: Bi­o­Lab ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer, Cam Stewart, ex­plains how to test hy­dropho­bia in ma­te­ri­als us­ing dig­i­tal mi­cro­scopes to Year 7 and 8 stu­dents.

PHOTO: An­drew Rail­ton Mt Buller

EXPERIMENT: Elsie McCor­mack test­ing the wear­a­bil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity of ma­te­ri­als

PHOTO: Sam Ma­gree

THAT’S ME: Ther­mal imag­ing cam­era tested on Brad­man Meakin wear­ing a heated Rip Curl wet­suit.

PHOTO: Sam Ma­gree

SO FAR, SO GOOD: Ol­lie Walker and Seb Porter-Green test­ing the hy­dropho­bia of wa­ter on neo­prene.

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