Scientist develops BBC online science project on feet for school pupils

Press Office
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Primary school pupils taking part in a national BBC online science initiative can investigate how people’s feet are adapting to modern terrain types, thanks to a Kent scientist.

Dr Rob Barker, of the University’s School of Physical Sciences, is the joint creator of the ‘Feet Investigation’ section of the BBC’s popular Terrific Science website, aimed at helping 9-11 year olds understand science through mass-participation investigations.

Pupils taking part in the Terrific Science Feet investigation will be invited to follow Jana from the popular CBBC drama series Wolfblood as she puts foot flexibility to the test.

They will be asked to consider the question ‘Does local terrain affect foot flexibility?’ and then post their results on to the interactive BBC website.

Dr Barker, who developed the concept for the study in conjunction with an NHS podiatrist, said the results from pupils’ investigation would help inform research into whether feet are adapting and the way people walk changing in response to the urban terrain in which many people now live.

This has the potential to inform precision medicine of the future, add resolution to CCTV gait analysis and even inform the design of new footwear.