Kines Down Under

Rebecca Myers in Australia

A student group, led by Movement Science associate professor Leah Robinson, spent 4 weeks studying at the Early Start Research Institute at the University of Wollongong (New South Wales), hosted by Professor Anthony (Tony) Okely. Pictured above is student Rebecca Myers, HF '18, from Rogers City, MI. Rebecca recorded her experiences in a blog, "Kines Down Under," at:

From Dr. Robinson:

Fundamental motor skills are the building blocks for advanced motor behavior and evidence supports that these skills contribute to positive health trajectories in children. Specific instruction, appropriate learning opportunities, and feedback are needed for improvements in motor skill performance. For the course, students worked in five local Wollongong childcare centers where they assessed children’s fundamental motor skill performance, provided motor skill instruction, and re-assessed their motor performance to examine progress. Positive changes were seen in some of the children’s fundamental motor skills.

The students enjoyed being a child again one afternoon at the Early Start Research Institute Discovery Space Museum and explored some of Australia on their visit that included hiking to the Figure Eight Pools, watching their first ever Rugby match in Sydney, touring the Sydney Opera House, learning about Buddhism at the Nan Tien Temple - the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, and seeing the wildlife up close and personal while feeding kangaroos at Symbio Wildlife Park. In all, the Australia Study Abroad GoGlobal! was a memorable experience and many of the students noted that they will be back to Australia for a second visit.

The Kinesiology study abroad program is coordinated by Vanessa Barton, and offers a variety of faculty-led programs each summer, featuring locations in Australia, Israel, South Korea, and Western Europe, as well as semester-long programs with the University of Queensland (Australia) and the University College – Dublin (Republic of Ireland).