the science of athletic performance
The Science of Athletic Performance was a five week STEM summer program hosted by Albany High School that served 50 local high school students. The program is focused on using STEM topics and equipment to investigate elite level athletic performance. By using sports as a context in which to use STEM topics, students were engaged with the material in an authentic and compelling manner. The students were broken into group that mentored by 4th Family Volunteers who were pursuing their doctorates in Biomedical Engineering at RPI and also possessed a passion for sports. The shared interests between the students and mentors allowed for a relaxed but immersive program where the students not only learned about how the human body worked but also gained role models in the STEM fields. The purpose of the program was for each group to develop, perform and evaluate a sports science experiment centered on their favorite athlete. The program culminated with a poster session at RPI where the student groups presented their work to a panel of expert judges in the field of sports and health sciences. Students have kept their posters and have since presented their work to groups of younger students in classrooms and gyms around the Capital Region. The STEM program addresses youth education, youth development and community accountability by educating the students and then empowering them to make a difference in their community through their work with younger students.