Dance Experiment at the UNM Duck Pond

Morgan Merrill

Jul 15, 2022

Combining engineering and dance, students measured rhythm and dance accuracy using Lewis Sensors.

Last month, fifth through eighth grade students evaluated harmony in ballet using the cutting-edge Lewis 1 sensors. Beginning with mentor guided fabrication of sensors, student were exposed to hands on learning and working with innovative equipment. Although the 1st generation Lewis Sensors used in this activity are not usually used in the field, they are excellent for education because of their low cost, efficiency and accuracy. After the sensors were prepared, students attached them to the bridge stretching across the UNM duck pond to measure bridge displacement. Similarly, on real bridges with train tracks, sensors are used to measure train displacement to determine the stability and repairs needed for the bridge. In this activity, dancing students replaced trains and, rather than stability, the sensors measured rhythm and how well students' movement matched the beat.