Amputee Athletes to Take the Field at 2015 Bay Area Science Festival

By Jyoti Madhusoodanan

More than 30,000 people last year attended Discovery Days, the finale event for the Bay Area Science Festival at AT&T Park. Photo by Elisabeth Fall

On November 7, a unique cadre of athletes will showcase their skills at AT&T Park. Unlike the typical players on this field, however, this group will run for science, not sport: they’re amputees who have returned to athletics thanks to novel prosthetic technologies from UC San Francisco’s Amputee Comprehensive Training (ACT) program.

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Visitors can hear these athletes’ stories or watch their skills at this year’s Bay Area Science Festival, an annual festival that runs from Oct. 22 to Nov. 7 this year. ACT program experts, who are participating for the first time, will introduce visitors to tests of limb movement, gait analysis and amputee cycling.

In addition, attendees can experience how scientists test movement and performance on a lab tour at UCSF’s Human Performance Center as part of the festival’s Explorer Days. After the lab tour, visitors will also have a chance to suit up in motion capture equipment with reflective markers – the same technology that’s used by video game makers to capture athletes’ movements.

Beyond the human body, children and adults can peer into the worlds of microscopic parasites, explore insect fauna and dissect the inner workings of cow’s eyes or sheep hearts at various other events.

With hands-on activity booths, lab tours and more, the science festival’s packed agenda holds plenty to pique the interests of both children and curious adults.

For more campus news and resources, visit Pulse of UCSF.