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Campus News : March 2012
8 CONNECT :UOW MARCH 2012 CONNECT: COMMUNITY UOW's Dean of Education Professor Paul Chandler lamented that "Australia spends a lot on its sporting elite but precious little on its academic elite" when he opened the inaugural Learning Labs school holiday program in January. His faculty, however, was doing something about re-dressing the imbalance with school holiday workshops in January for around 100 high- achieving students from Years 7-10. "We want you to explore your boundaries. The different sessions you will be attending are about celebrating your talent," Professor Chandler told the students. Learning Labs has been designed as an academic enrichment program for high school students from the Illawarra and South Coast region, and will be offered during the January and July school holidays as an ongoing service. Learning Labs Project Officer Sarah Smith said the program was designed to "give gifted and talented students from the region something extra to what they can get at school - a real university experience with dynamic and challenging workshops conducted by senior academics". The workshops covered a range of academic fields in engineering, law, graphic design, journalism and science, presented by university academics who are leaders in their field. The Faculty of Science also hosted the 21st annual UOW Science Experience in January. Year 9 and 10 students from as far away as Western Australia and Queensland joined their peers from the Illawarra, South Coast and other parts of regional NSW. The students participated in a range of hands-on workshops under the direction of academic staff. Their activities included examining the effect of lava flow on volcanic eruption styles, creating crazy chemical concoctions, and learning how computer scientists create applications for iPhones. UOW Science Experience Director Lisa Hutton said the annual event provided high school students with the opportunity to meet other students with a passion for science, and get a taste for studying science at Wollongong as they interact with student mentors, academics and researchers. The science program, managed nationally by the Science Schools Foundation and coordinated locally by the UOW Faculty of Science is aimed at encouraging continued science studies in senior years at high school and, eventually, at university. This year the program included a fieldtrip to the UOW Innovation Campus where students participated in a series of nanotechnology activities learning about bioprinting, nanobionics and dip pen nanolithography. BG/MC PROGRAMS ENRICH TALENTED STUDENTS The vast majority of Australian women wear ill-fitting bras when playing sport or exercising, often at considerable cost to their performance and in some cases, to their health. And while many women recognise they have a problem, most choose not to consult professional bra-fitters -- for a variety of reasons, including modesty and the lack of availability of trained fitters where they purchase their bras. But now there is a solution to the problem. Sports Medicine Australia and the Breast Research Australia (BRA) team in the University of Wollongong's Biomechanics Research Laboratory, which has pioneered sports bra research in Australia, have combined to produce a free do- it-yourself guide to bra selection for sport and exercise. Called simply EXERCISE AND BREAST SUPPORT, the brochure is a guide to understanding breast support during physical activity and how to determine whether your bra is fitted correctly. It is being distributed nationally by Sports Medicine Australia. It provides easy to follow explanations on why correct bra fit and support is important for women of all ages when they play sport or exercise, as well as information about the potential for ill-fitting bras to contribute to neck, back and arm pain, especially in women with large breasts. It contains a practical table that helps women make the right choice of bra based on age, bra cup size and the type of physical activity being undertaken. It contains advice on the type of bands, straps, cup, underwire and material, three easy steps to correct bra fit and a bra fit checklist. BRA team researcher Dr Deirdre McGhee said the information in the brochure was prepared from evidence-based research, and would be a valuable guide for women of all ages. "One of our recent studies found that 88 percent of female adolescents wore a bra during sport that didn't fit properly, while 85 percent failed a simple knowledge test on bras and bra fit," Dr McGhee said. "At the same time the vast majority of women, 75 percent in the younger age group and 67 percent among older women, do not choose to use the bra- fitting services that some bra retailers provide. "So clearly there is a problem, and we are delighted that Sports Medicine Australia has partnered with us to produce this brochure, which we feel will be a great help to women who want to be active -- whether it is very physical activities like playing hockey, netball, football, jogging or gym workouts, or more passive activities like walking." BRA Team Leader Professor Julie Steele said the women would be able to use the brochure "knowing we're not trying to sell any particular brand of bra, so they can choose whatever they want without feeling under any pressure". NH BRA GUIDE EXERCISE IN COMFORT, PERFORMANCE High school students involved in the Learning Labs enrichment program at UOW in January. Professor Julie Steele monitors promising middle-distance runner Kaisha Edwards at the launch of the brochure designed to help active women of all ages choose the correct bra for sport and exercise.
CONNECT:UOW July 2012