Last 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 ourbiology playsin 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.
This 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
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)
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
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
Congratulations to Keane, Charlie and Sharon from Queensland on winning a sensational community grant ( we can’t say who yet). We are so excited to see STEMfit rolling out to Queensland schools in the Brisbane Metro and Fraser Coast,through Queensland University of Technology, Oodgeroo Indigenous unit together with partner institutions Griffith University and University of the Sunshine Coast.
We are looking forward to seeing Keane, Charlie and Sharon in action through our virtual STEMfit VR program and the playing fields of local schools.
We know STEMfit as having a good time in the playground and then analysing our data in the classroom. But there is another, deeper layer and that is the physiology of our body and its contribution to helping us run faster and jump higher. Learning about the bodies biology helps has design better training programmes, eat better and the understand the importance of rest.
So strap in and take a deep dive with Dr. Charlie, as we sneak into some of her actual lectures to the medical doctors of tomorrow.
Today, Jim Lee was invited to Yasmin Osborne’s admission as a lawyer into the Northern Territory Supreme Court. This is the culmination of many years study commencing with Exercise and Sport Science, followed by an Honours degree, after which came the law degree. With all of them, Yasmin was always dedicated and successful with her studies. Little did Yasmin or Jim know that her Honours studies would result in a steadily growing entity known as STEMfit….
In 2015, Yasmin (pictured) had decided to undertake an Honours research year looking at physical literacy, the use of technology, and functional capacity in children in a Darwin School and also in a very remote school – Kalkaringi. It was very hard work for Yasmin – she had to put up with Jim’s incessant raving about the Richmond Football Club and along with other stories in the 7.5 hour (each way) road trip to Kalkaringi. Apart from that torture, interesting discussions were had between them and STEMfit team member, Jeff Parker, who was the school principal there at the time. It was from these chats that over the next year or two that the idea of using movement data from the school kids could be used in STEM classes. From these little things* the evolution has continued.
*This has a relationship to Paul Kelly’s song of the same name. For those interested in cryptic messages, can you work it out?
Charles Darwin University Lecturer in Exercise and Sport Science, Dr Jim Lee has been researching the use of wearable technologies in STEM education, using students’ own performance data to engage them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes.
Together with Jeff Parker and Associate Professor Danny James, Dr Lee has delivered the final report to the Northern Territory Department of Education Innovation Fund for School Improvement. The report demonstrates the potential of STEMfit technology in classrooms.
STEMfit is a wearable device used to capture performance data. Successfully used by elite athletes, the challenge was to translate the technology from elite athletes to school kids. Dr Lee trialled the technology at four schools – Clyde Fenton Primary School and Timber Creek, Bulla Camp and Amanbidji schools.
“We wanted to include rural and remote schools who often get left out, to give something back,” he said.
“We wanted to engage kids in a positive learning experience, doing something they are good at and can be proud of.”
The aim of the STEMfit is to deliver to schools a program that teachers could plug in and run without any need for additional software or training.
Students performed a series of actions (running, walking and jumping) and used their own data to calculate various maths problems.
“We showed them their running speed compared with school children in Japan and their average speed was faster,” Dr Lee said.
“They quickly engaged with the subject because they could relate to it.”
Interestingly, primary school students understood concepts such as acceleration and gravity much more readily than adults, he said.
“Students who had never picked up a ruler before were suddenly thinking and reasoning their way through complex maths problems,” Dr Lee said.
“With STEMfit they could see the data on screen as they jumped and understand the science based on evidence, not theory.”
According to Dr Lee, the Government has identified a lack of STEM activities in Australia, particularly for Indigenous girls. The next stage of the project will be to involve teachers in the development of the STEMfit curriculum.
“We are tapping into something students care about, in this case sport, to give them a greater understanding in subjects where they typically disengage.”
STEMfit partner Dr Wheeler is no stranger to sport, on any given weekend you’ll find him out there playing community rugby (well until his young family came along anyway). But what does his day job as a rugby player look like?….well you guessed it, its playing rugby too! (kinda).
So what kind of benefits do sports science bring to playing sport? So in rugby you want to get the ball up the other end of the field without getting tackled. The best players don’t just get past a tackle, they avoid them entirely. Keane’s work helped identify this using video cameras (today we are using our sensors though). This is the job of science and STEM tools, to help our coaches understand through evidence why certain actions are beneficial. So our movements can not only teach us STEM stuff, STEM can teach us all about how to be a better rugby player!!!
Changes to running technique occur when required to make a decision.
Fast agility performers use different stepping strategies in reactive conditions.
Decision-making must be incorporated in agility training programs.