Jim’s Hat Trick at NT Science Week Awards night

Earlier this week Dr Jim attended the inaugural NT Science Week awards, celebrating Science and STEM in the NT. The night was hosted by local ABC radio local legend Joel Spry. On hand to present the awards were Martian Redhead, Director of Business Innovation, NT anda representative from the Minister for Education and Prof. David Young, Dean of Engineering and IT, Charles Darwin university was the NT minister for Education to present the awards.

Congratulations to Jim on being awarded STEM Scientist of the year and representing STEMfit as Outreach Provider of the year.

There were ten awards all up on the night, with STEMfit winning the Peoples choice award as well.

Mercifully for Jim (and the audience) he didn’t have to give 3 acceptance speeches.

Other members of the STEMfit team were there, not only in spirit, but also online and from as far away as Ngukurr in Arnhem land via Zoom.

If you want to hear more about STEMfit. Joel interviewed Jim on ABC radio last week
The interview starts at 4:52:10

Congratulations to all the other award winners as well its great to see so much happening in the NT

National Science Week peoples choice award…..help us win!

Hi Everyone. We would love your vote for STEMfit…just one click CLICK HERE

Our STEMfit National Science week videos from 2020 have been nominated as the best National Science week NT project for 2020. Introduced by Dr. Jim, they feature Master Matthew taking us through sport and science from a school students perspective, Dr. Charlie and the biology of the body to improve performance and Dr Keane, Nagarabal man about the transformative experience of Science and Sport. We would love your vote for STEMfit…just one click CLICK HERE

Here are the videos

Ready, Set…Katherine!

Our STEMfit Ready , Set… Science Roadshow found time to go back to where it all began, spending time with with STEMfit co-counder and school Principal Jeff Parker. These days Jeff is the school principal at Clyde-Fenton school in Katherine, so after a quick dip at Mataranka Springs it was straight into the classrooms and playing fields at his school.

Jim had his radar unit out and everyone got to see how fast they can through a ball!

One of our highlights was working with a young man who has just recently moved to town from the bush….. it was a joy to work with him as he experienced the joys of the classroom and technology with fresh eyes.

Road train Image from wiki commons

All too soon it was time to head back to Darwin, Charlie achieved a new personal best passing 6 road trains in a row. For any not familiar with roadtrains they are a truck with up to 6 trailers towed behind it and dominate the remote highways of Australia up North. Our junior STEM ambassador Matthew did the maths, and tells us that that is 36 trailers to over take. They can take some time to pass and often the only thing you can see through the bull dust is the road train drivers indicator signalling to you that its OK to pass..talk about trusting your mates in the outback!

We rounded out our trip with a stall at Darwins STEM Innovation playground, which had the kids 5 deep at times and ran our STEmfit team ragged…all great fun!

Thankyou Inspired NT, Inspire Australia for your support of our trip.

Alo Ngukurr!

Dr Charlie discusses the biology of the body

We are a few days in on our Ready , Set…. Science roadshow to remote NT. Our first school is a Ngukurr on the Roper river in Arnhem land. Its only 8hrs from Darwin  and Junior STEM ambassador Matthew recons it a great ride, especially if you get to ride shotgun at 130km/h (this is the speed limit on the highway to Katherine).

Charlie had a great time with the kids , doing up anatomical models with them and explaining about the heart and brain, and how its important to fuel them with the right things, and only the occasional treats.

Jim put everyone through their paces using light gates and other sports technologies.

Matthew even found time to phone his regular school back in Brisbane, where all the kids enjoyed a video hookup with tales of crocodiles and sharing stories about what everyone likes to do in their spare time. His new friends in Ngukurr were astounded to discover that his school is 1/2 the size of the entire Ngukurr community. He also liked the idea that you don’t have to wear shoes to school. Matthew also got to participate in language class and was stunned to learn there are 7 Australian language spoken at the school…and all he knew was English!

Everyone got to try (and keep) their very own piece of wearable technology!
Using Radar to measure a ball through speed (this young one was seriously fast )

Next stop is Mataranka springs, to wash off some of the red dirt and then on toward to STEMfit co-founder Principal Parker at Katherine’s Clyde Fenton school 

Farewell to the beautiful people of the Ngukurr community, we came to teach… but learnt so much more ourselves

Image Credit: Ngukurr School CEC

Ready, Set….. Science!

Thanks to the support of Inspiring Australia and Inspire NT it’s only a month until Dr Jim and Dr Charlie set off for some of the remote communities of the Northern Territory.

From Darwin it’s tarmac all the way to Katherine, and some quality time at STEMfit co-founder, Jeff Parker’s, school at Clyde Fenton. Next we are heading off for Mataranka Springs and a left turn down a dusty track for 5 or so hours  (Also known as the Roper River highway) to visit the Ngukurr Community on the shores of the Roper River. We are looking forward to catching up with principal Peter White.  

Ready, Set…. Science takes the human body as a high-performance engine, down the rabbit hole of STEM to look at the Biology of the Body and what powers it. Dr Charlie from Griffith University all the way down in Brisbane, will be joining us this time to share what she teaches the doctors of tomorrow about the “biology of the body”. No stranger to outback communities (having done a PhD on health problems commonly found in rural communities) Dr Charlie will also be touching on how we can improve the health of our bodies by taking good care of them, and the changes we can expect as we journey into adult hood. 

We are also delighted to have our junior STEM ambassador Matthew from Holland Park State School join us, with the permission of the Education Department through his school principal and classroom teacher (yes Matthew you will have homework to do on the trip too). 

“One of the reasons we are so passionate about school children, particularly late primary is that often decisions about a STEM career are made at this age, so exciting engaging activities around STEM and ‘play’ now,  mean we are much more likely to see them at university a decade or so later! ” says Dr. Charlie

Along the way we will be taking attitudinal and cognitive measures to look at how we perform as educators, as well as finding out more about the kids we are working with. 

See Mathew and Dr Charlie in action from last years National Science Week productions.

Announcing the International ISEA STEMfit Cup

Thanks to the support of the International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA), the premier professional association for technology and engineering in sport STEMfit are pleased to be announcing the inaugural STEMfit cup to take place later in the year.

Invited teams from schools in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Scotland will take up the STEMfit challenge, involving athletic sporting performance and classroom STEM analysis of sports across the globe. 

STEMfit had its birth in the remote communities of the Northern Territory in Australia, where sports scientist Dr. James LEE from Charles Darwin University was astonished at the physical abilities of local indigenous kids, who in bare feet and on stony ground easily outperformed their city counterparts. School Principal Parker immediately saw an opportunity to use the data created by sports science to make STEM lessons more relevant and fun. Enter Daniel JAMES a wearable technology aficionado and STEMfit was born.

With thanks to the International Sports Engineering communities (yes Sports and Engineering do go together) the STEMfit cup was born. 

International teams will be lead by renowned Sports Engineering researchers including Prof. Yuji Ohgi from Keio University Japan , A/Prof Tomo Wada from National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Japan, Prof Nicola Petrone from the University of Padova, Italy, Dr Mohammad Al-Rawi, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand, Dr Lee, James from Charles Darwin University, Dr. Willis Griffith University, Brisbane Australia  and Dr Brendon Ferrier from Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.

Teams of late primary school students under their University and school teachers mentors will compete in several athletic events started using the Keio University “Internet starting gun” simultaneously around the world and subsequent analysis of biomechanics using STEMfit. Team will then present their results in their own languages for final judging.

We would like to acknowledge the financial support of the ISEA, Gulf Coast Data Concepts who specialise in data logging, the support of our respective institutions and the first peoples of the Arnhem land communities who have made this all possible.

For enquiries please contact A/Prof Daniel JAMES, Charles Darwin University daniel.james(AT)cdu.edu.au or see our events website for announcements http://stem-fit.com

STEMfit: Getting ready for National Science Week 

matthy-STEMfitLast week our Queensland team had great fun filming STEMfit activities with a great bunch of kids, both out on the sports field, as well as in our COVID cave. Up North Jim was hard at it too, with some filming in the sports lab.

We are putting together 3 videos on technology in sport, the role our  biology plays  in sport and making a STEM career in sport. Thank you team, we look forward to seeing the final videos in August.


Special thanks to Inspire Australia NT, National Science Week, TVHouse and Ergon Energy for your support.


STEMfit’s origin story has been published!

imageThis week we present our methodology behind developing STEMfit in the education track of the  International Sports Engineering Association conference in Tokyo . Straight out of the Steve Blank Lean Start playback it is all about listening to our customers….err students and teachers. Thankyou to all the teachers and students that have allowed this project to get this far!

James, D. A., Parker, J., Willis, C., & Lee, J. (2020). STEMfit: Student Centric Innovation to Improve STEM Educational Engagement Using Physical Activity, Wearable Technologies and Lean Methodologies. In Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Proceedings (Vol. 49, No. 1, p. 33).


Abstract: School-based education programmes are increasingly focused on the teaching of skills thought to be more suitable for an increasingly technological society. These STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills are often seen as enablers for the workforce of tomorrow. This paper utilises wearable sensors during prescribed physical activity as a vehicle for student engagement through their direct involvement in the creation of personalised data sets, direct questioning about their physical activity and the development of a nexus between what they do and fundamental physical properties such as the laws of motion. Results demonstrate the technical challenges, including the selection of appropriate monitoring technologies and development of appropriate technology tools suitable for school cohorts, together with sample results obtained through field trials in metropolitan and remote schools to demonstrate the utility of such technologies.

Keywords: STEM; inertial sensors; education pedagogy; innovation; business model canvas

Get the full paper here

We need your help (2 clicks required)

People_s_Choice_2020___Ergon_Energy_and_Energex_Community_Fund_People_s_Choice___Talking_EnergyHi Everyone,

Recently we were successful in obtaining support for our physical activity based STEM education program for the disadvantaged from Ergon Energy. Its called “Don’t close the gap….Jump it!” which will enable us to reach out to a number of Queensland Schools.  However if we get enough votes in Ergons’ “People’s choice 2020 award” we will be able to reach even more kids in more schools. Will you vote for us?

If you have time today to click your mouse twice we would really appreciate it! (no logins required we promise)

 – Click once on the link  https://www.talkingenergy.com.au/ergon-energy-and-energex-community-fund-peoples-choice/brainstormers/peoples-choice-2020

 – Click once on the QUT Oodgeroo Unit  heart emoji

Help us Jump the Gap!

STEMfit Don’t Close the Gap Jump it! is a partnership taking a successful outback, remote education programme from the Northern Territory into Queensland schools with QUT Oodgeroo, Griffith University and the University of the Sunshine Coast

About STEMfit

Kids love tech and they love the playground, STEMfit utilises wearable technologies where children can collect their own physical activity data to later analyse in the classroom and compare themselves with their peers and sporting heroes. It’s great fun, really engaging and real world STEM

Find out more at stem-fit.com



Thankyou Ergon for your support!