The Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH) hosted a non-residential Summer School for year 12 students, aimed at widening participation in Applied Medical Sciences, with a particular focus on Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences. The aim of the programme, developed by our Sport Scientist Dr Flaminia Ronca, was to provide year 12 students with an insight into the scientific research process and basic knowledge of sport and exercise physiology, biomechanics, including exercise in extreme environments, supplementation, cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), and biomedical engineering.
The students received lectures and workshops led by renowned academics and clinicians, and conducted their own small research studies, which they presented to the rest of the group in conference style at the end of the summer school. Student projects included: the use of a Biodex Dynamometer to investigate the length-tension relationship and the force-velocity relationship of skeletal muscles; the use of CPET to investigate the effects of Red Bull supplementation on maximal cycling performance; the use surface electromyography (EMG) to investigate the differences in punching technique on muscle activation; and the use of jump mats to investigate the effects of technique on jump performance.
We have received excellent feedback from attendees, who have greatly valued the skills and knowledge acquired, and are using this opportunity to enhance their portfolios to apply for medical degrees at university. This summer school was the first widening participation initiative of the UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science; it has been a great success and we very much look forward to running it again next year.