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Northwest students practice jumping jacks with Horace Mann Laboratory School kindergarteners during a biomechanics class in the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest students practice jumping jacks with Horace Mann Laboratory School kindergarteners during a biomechanics class in the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

March 24, 2019

Northwest, Horace Mann students practice their biomechanics


Deion Scott played soccer with Horace Mann children as part of an activity to help them understand kicking mechanics.

Deion Scott played soccer with Horace Mann children as part of an activity to help them understand kicking mechanics.

A mix of cheers and giggles filled the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse last week as Northwest Missouri State University students participated in physical activities with Horace Mann kindergarteners to teach them about the basics of biomechanics.

The Northwest students in Dr. Eric Mosier’s biomechanics course played host to Nancy Farlow’s kindergarten class and led the children through a series of physical activities that helped them better understand how the body moves – while having some fun.

Each station focused on a different aspect of human movement – from functional movements, muscle stamina, muscle power, body posture and center of gravity to running, kicking and throwing mechanics. The children practiced jumping jacks, pushups, running and skipping, in addition to kicking and throwing various types of balls.

“It’s a great activity,” Mosier, an assistant professor of health and physical education, said. ”We’ve been going over a lot of the basics of biomechanics, and this incorporates the physical aspects, but this is taking a lot of those concepts and applying it. So looking at throwing mechanics, how is it different with a tennis ball versus a larger foam ball versus a Frisbee? For everybody, it’s thinking how mechanics are different in certain ways.”

While biomechanics is a required course for applied health science majors, the activity provided applications for a variety of students, most of whom are working toward careers in coaching, athletic training or strength and conditioning, Mosier said.

The activity also gave the Northwest students some practice working with young children.

“It’s a bit of a learning experience as far as learning how to teach,” Deion Scott, a senior applied health science major from Orlando, Florida, said. “Teaching is one thing, but then also having to learn to adapt to younger kids who have a shorter attention span and are distracted a little easier, that helps us learn patience as well. It’s fun, though, to see how the kids love to be active and have potential to be very good athletes.”

Scott aspires to become a physical therapist or personal trainer with his own practice.

“Understanding a wider variety of people will help my business, so it’s not just focusing on athletes but younger kids because younger kids get hurt, too,” he said. “A way to prevent injuries is to focus on good technique. This is where it starts as far as kids and learning techniques.”

Horace Mann and its Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families are located on the Northwest campus and serve children in preschool through grade six while providing a clinical teaching environment for Northwest students.

Maggie Graves, a senior physical education major from Chillicothe, Missouri, played a goalie during the activity, fielding soccer balls while giving instructions to the children about kicking techniques. Graves, who is working toward becoming a physical education teacher, works with Horace Mann students regularly, and noted the opportunities to develop skills in collaboration with the laboratory school is one differentiator of a Northwest education.

A week prior, Farlow’s class visited Dr. Rhonda Beemer’s anatomy and physiology class to learn about the musculoskeletal system. 

“It’s absolutely amazing to be working with the kids all the time,” Graves said. “I never expected to come to a biomechanics class and work with the kindergarteners. In my education classes we do, but being able to work with them in all of my classes, it’s very beneficial.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468