Olympic Hopefuls Build Shock Absorbing Gymnastics Mattress for Science Fair
Seattle, WA 3/05/2012 01:24 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)
The flips and tricks that gymnasts perform is what captivates people and encourages them to keep watching the sport. Those flips and tricks can certainly take their toll on the body, and there is only so much the mats and springs can absorb. In an effort to find a new and improved technology that absorbs the majority of the shock the body receives, Olympic hopefuls Gina Gallows and Ruby Travis have started an experiment involving memory foam mattresses and gymnastics mats.
“Our bodies absorb so much while we’re out there doing our tricks and stunts”, said Gina Gallows. “We might weight 106 pounds but our bodies feel like 600 pounds is being poured on us and it can hurt.”
Gallows and Travis have been working to create a gymnastics mat that incorporates a combination of springs and memory foam. The springs are required to help gymnasts gain height when performing floor routines, while the memory foam is designed to help absorb the shock and soften any fall.
“Our gymnastics facility has tried several different mats and they really haven’t done anything for us”, said Ruby Travis. “When we were assigned a science experiment by our teachers Gina and I thought there was no better way to learn about science then to combine it with our favorite hobby.”
Using intricate equations and formulas to determine the impact the body receives; Gallows and Travis have come up with a theory about how much memory foam from a mattress would be required to help absorb the shock of some of the stunts. The experiment is still in the early stages of planning with Gallows and Travis only trying it out on the preschool and kindergarten gymnastics classes.
“The preschool and kindergarten classes were ideal place to first try out the mats”, said Travis. “The kids weigh less and most tend to be very vocal if something hurts so it gives us an idea if we are headed in the right direction.”
Gallows and Travis plan to present their theory and new gymnastics mat at the local science fair. Manufacturers from all around the country have already expressed interest in the results and final outcome of the experiment.
“It’s really great to see my daughter so excited about science”, said Meghan Gallows. “I think it was the combination of gymnastics and science that really sparked her interest, and to see such an interest in the gymnastics community about this makes me so proud of her.”