The Biomechanics Research and Innovation Challenge: Development, Implementation, Uptake, and Reflections on the Inaugural Program

Celeste E Coltman, Martina Barzan, Manuela Besomi, Victoria Brackley, Jaquelin A Bousie, Julie Choisne, Laura E Diamond, Taylor J M Dick, Nicole D'Souza, Samantha Fien, Alycia Fong Yan, Sheridan A Gho, Alexandra Giraldo-Pedroza, Laura A Hutchinson, Laura V Hutchison, Crystal O Kean, Maddison M Kirk, Amy Lewis, Jayishini N Maharaj, Nina MaherKerry J Mann, Suzanne Martin, Karen J Mickle, Azadeh Nasseri, Isobel H Oon, Rory Purdie, Shayan L Quinlan, Ceridwen R Radcliffe, Suzanne J Snodgrass, Siddharth Verma, Michelle Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Biomechanics as a discipline is ideally placed to increase awareness and participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A nationwide Biomechanics and Research Innovation Challenge (BRInC) centered on mentoring and role modeling was developed to engage high school girls (mentees) and early-mid-career women (mentors) in the field of biomechanics through the completion of a 100-day research and/or innovation project. This manuscript describes the development, implementation, and uptake of the inaugural BRInC program and synthesizes the research and innovation projects undertaken, providing a framework for adoption of this program within the global biomechanics community. Eighty-seven high school girls in years 9 and 10 (age range: 14–16 y) were mentored in teams (n = 17) by women in biomechanics (n = 24). Using a design thinking approach, teams generated solutions to biomechanics-based problem(s)/research question(s). Eight key reflections on program strengths, as well as areas for improvement and planned changes for future iterations of the BRInC program, are outlined. These key reflections highlight the innovation, impact, and scalability of the program; the importance of a program framework and effective communication tools; and implementation of strategies to sustain the program as well as the importance of diversity and building a sense of community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-165
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Biomechanics
Volume40
Issue number2
Early online date28 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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