Mansfield students onsnow science at Mt Buller
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.
FEARING WATER: BioLab education officer, Cam Stewart, explains how to test hydrophobia in materials using digital microscopes to Year 7 and 8 students.
EXPERIMENT: Elsie McCormack testing the wearability and flexibility of materials
THAT’S ME: Thermal imaging camera tested on Bradman Meakin wearing a heated Rip Curl wetsuit.
SO FAR, SO GOOD: Ollie Walker and Seb Porter-Green testing the hydrophobia of water on neoprene.