National Biomechanics Day 2024

Last week the Steele Lab celebrated National Biomechanics Day (NBD) on April 3, 2024 at the VA Puget Sound. Mia Hoffman, Sasha Portnova, and Katie Landwehr, alongside fellow Biomechanics researchers with the Ingraham Lab, and Center for Limb Loss and MoBility (CLiMB) hosted over 75 students from a local high school.

A group of five people posing for a photo

NBD is a world-wide celebration of Biomechanics in its many forms for high school students and teachers. Steele Lab PhD student Mia Hoffman, and Ingraham Lab PhD student Annika Pfister were recently awarded a $1000 grant from the American Society of Biomechanics and National Biomechanics Day to host an outreach event for high school students focused on disability biomechanics.

Mia and Katie hosted a station on “Switch-Adapted Toys & Accessible Design”

Sasha, Annika, and Zijie hosted a station on “Myodino: Activate your Muscles”

Winter Quarter Recap 2024

Here’s a look at what some of our lab member have been up to this quarter – in the lab, around campus, and out in the community!


Steele lab members, Mia, Kate, Alisha, and Katie volunteered at a UW GoBabyGo (GBG) Build Workshop. GBG is a community-based outreach program that works with families, clinicians and industry partners to provide pediatric mobility equipment to children with disabilities. The primary mission of GBG is to provide modified ride-on cars to these children to use as a powered mobility device for fun, function, and exploration.


Lab members, Kate, Mia, and Megan volunteered at the Special Olympics Regional Alpine & Snowboarding Competition at the Summit at Snoqualmie.

Also in February:

As part of her duties as a TA this quarter, Mackenzie Pitts gave a Dynamics (ME230) lecture to a 200-person class. She crushed it.


Mia Hoffman presented a poster on “Quantitative methods are more accurate than caregiver-reported measures for tracking a child’s mobility device use” at the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association Poster Competition.

Mia has blonde hair and is wearing a polka dot blouse with a green skirt. She is standing next to her poster on "Quantitative methods are more accurate than caregiver-reported measures for tracking a child's mobility device use."

Also in March:

The iconic UW Cherry Blossoms graced us with their presence. Photos captured by local photographer and lab member, Megan Ebers.

Switch Kit Workshop at Kindering

Mia Hoffman standing in front of a screen giving a presentation on the Switch Kits for digital play. In the foreground, there is a soft pillow and squishmallow DIY adaptive switch. Lab members, Mia Hoffman, Kat Steele, Heather Feldner and Katie Landwehr led a “Switch Kit” Workshop at Kindering in Bothell, WA.

The workshop aimed to teach Speech-Language Pathologists how to use a new system we have designed with the MakeyMakey for inclusive play options in early intervention. The team also got to try their hands at making their own adaptive switches out of pool noodles! Stay tuned for more on this project.

Slide titled "Development of a Switch Kit for Digital Play" by Mia Hoffman from the Steele Lab and IMPACT Collaboratory. A picture is shown of a stuffed animal playing a game on an iPad using the Switch Kit device

NSF Convergence Accelerator | Living Better through Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology

A second NSF Convergence Accelerator focused on increasing access and inclusion. The LIBERATE workshop is focused on Living Better through Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology.

title slide of Dr. Steele's presentation on a purple background with text Liberate 2021 NSF convergence accelerator

As an NSF Convergence Accelerator, participants will seek to identify pathways that could be  pursued by multidisciplinary teams to get solutions at least to a prototype stage in 3-5 years. The long-term goal from this workshop is to kickstart the next wave of technologies that will empower people with disabilities.

Dr. Steele will be participating and presenting some kernels of ideas for inclusion, especially highlighting recent work from CREATE.


Download PDF of slides.

Email Dr. Steele (kmsteele – at – uw – dot – edu) with questions, comments, or suggestions.