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) or see our events website for announcements

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

 – 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



Thankyou Ergon for your support!

STEMfit…now in Qld!

kids-jumping.jpgCongratulations 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.

STEMfit: A deep dive with Dr. Charlie

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.

Introducing Dr. Charlie  and the lungs…..





Back in 2015 a seed for an idea was planted.

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….

Jim With Yasmin after her admission to the NT Supreme Court. Photo courtesy of Yasmin Osbourne ©

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?