Young Luke Uses Science to Solve Problems

Posted on October 4, 2005

Luke Shakespeare is only 11 but he has already won awards for math, science, photography and poetry. The Syndey Morning Herald says Luke's latest project was an investigation into how rock climbers can reduce muscle strains using goniometry.

Luke burst onto the science scene aged 8 and his CV is now two-pages long. For his latest experiment, he used goniometry (the science of measuring joints) to investigate how rock climbers can avoid muscle strains.

"I was rock climbing and my arms started to hurt," he said. "I was only climbing for three minutes. So I was like, 'How can you fix this?' Then we walked through St Vincent de Paul and I saw a book on goniometry." Luke studied rock climbers' positions, found correlations between repetitive movements, then designed a measuring device to work out how to reduce repetitive strains. If climbers were then educated about these strains and could use different movements, he concluded, they should be able to reduce tendon, ligament and muscle problems. The project won a national Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers' award.

The Herald also says Luke wants to be a basketball player and if that fails he will look into rocket science. With the kind of mind it sounds like Luke has it seems unlikely he will be able to avoid science.

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