November 1, 2021
Dear Members of the Biomechanics community,
National Biomechanics Day has celebrated Biomechanics with live, in-lab and on-sight events since 2016. Of course, most NBDs were celebrated as virtual events in 2021. We were so impressed with everyone’s efforts and creativity in creating this new form of Biomechanics celebration and we now have a vast collection of these online events. The Biomechanics Initiative, Inc, home of NBD, is currently working to make this material even more accessible for use in future Biomechanics activities.
Presently, the pandemic situation for NBD 2022 is unsettled and we do not know how many places will be able to resume their live events. We take this moment, therefore, to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all NBD 2022 participants. First, we encourage and support all plans for virtual NBD events in 2022. They were wonderfully successful this past year and can be even better in 2022. Please consider holding a virtual event in which you can introduce Biomechanics to high school students and teachers through many different online formats, including previously created videos and slide shows, discussions and virtual demonstrations of Biomechanics, and tours of your Biomechanics facilities. A second option is to create a hybrid event in which the lab members are on-site to give the demonstration but your high school visitors remain offsite and join the event virtually. We did this at East Carolina University for NBD 2021 and had great success with this model.
A hybrid NBD in which lab biomechanists demonstrate 3D motion capture to a high school group viewing the event virtually at their school.
The third option is to go “old school,” i.e. 2019, and create a live real event in your facility. The lab group and high school students and faculty would be together in the lab. Please consider this option only if it is safe and if your institution and the high school or schools would allow it. Yes, this is our dream, to return to fully live, educational, and fun events and while we will probably not all be able to do this until 2023, the virtual NBD will most likely remain in some form this coming year.
Although we may be disappointed to not have thousands of smiling, young faces in our labs, we are incredibly excited to channel our efforts into creating safe NBD 2022 events. Remember, the mission of The Biomechanics Initiative, Inc. and NBD is to advance Biomechanics science and education by increasing the awareness and appreciation of Biomechanics among the high-school community around the world. We now encourage participating institutions to work towards this goal by reaching out to local-area schools and determining the appropriate mechanism for your region. Let’s get students excited! Show them 3D motion capture! Ultrasound imaging of muscle fibers! EMG of active muscle! All the cool Biomechanics we do!!!
Here’s the good news: fully virtual or hybrid NBDs have the great benefit of collaborations across vast distances! You can join forces with biomechanists around your nation or across national borders to create even more memorable experiences. Let’s envision three-lab collaborations exciting young people in three different cities!
In an effort to make NBD 2022 memorable, we will showcase all NBD events happening around the world on our website as we did in 2021. We will create an NBD 2022 landing page containing links to Biomechanics-STEM & STEAM events, either live or pre-recorded, so that we can all share our materials. Please submit any links or videos you may have showing Biomechanics that others may like to use.
Let’s embrace all forms of NBDs and overcome the pandemic. This year we can have, “more virtual smiles on more virtual faces in more virtual Biomechanics labs,” than ever! Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions about virtual NBDs.
Paul DeVita, Ph.D.
Founder and Director, The Biomechanics Initiative and National Biomechanics Day