Boxing Invention lands teen trip Down Under

He has a ‘Jake Lamotta’ snarl on His Face

A Riverview High School student’s invention that measures the impulse of a boxer’s punch has landed him a trip to the other side of the world.

Topics :

Coxheath school , Sydney School of Kickboxing , Cape Breton University , Australia , Sydney , Ashby

Robert Barrett, who lives in the Ashby area of Sydney, will travel to Australia, to take part in a youth science convention.

The 16-year-old was selected as one of three Canadian youths to make the trip, after first garnering national attention for last year’s science project at the Coxheath school.

Barrett’s idea for what he calls an impulse measuring device, similar to a ballistic pendulum, is a simple contraption which measures the force of a boxer’s punch.

Barrett, who also attends classes at the Sydney School of Kickboxing at the Lyceum, said the device resembles a door frame, with a steel T-bar that hangs from two holes on the side of the frame. There is also a pad on the end of the T-bar that serves as a target for the punch.

Using a protractor and some string, Barrett says he developed an impulse measuring formula with the help of Geoffrey Lee-Dadswell of the physics department at Cape Breton University.

“This is kinda a way of simply applying laws of physics to measure the momentum of their punch and not use high-tech science labs; something that could be used in a gym,” said Barrett.

Last year, Barrett had help from 40 kickboxers at the Sydney school to conduct his experiment.

“I did this to kinda see how important technique is when it comes to the straight punch.” – Robert Barrett

“They would come up and punch the pendulum twice and then I’d measure the impulse of those two punches,” said Barrett.

Barrett said after the first two punches, instructors would then make suggestions on how to improve their next two punches.

Two more punches were then recorded from each boxer, with results showing that impulse significantly improved after proper technique was applied.

“I did this to kinda see how important technique is when it comes to the straight punch,” said Barrett.

After winning a regional competition, Barrett’s project then won the silver medal in the physical and mathematical division at the national fair. He says he then applied for, and won, a special award to take part in an all-expenses paid trip to the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra, Australia. The only cost to Barrett was his plane ticket, paid for in part with donations from the Rotary Club of Sydney and the Nova Scotia Youth Experience in Science.

He will leave for Australia Dec. 21, staying until Jan. 15. Barrett said the forum will introduce students to different careers in science, by way of hundreds of science labs.

(Courtesy of Greg McNeil – Cape Breton Post)


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