STEM or Science Technology Engineering and Maths is a crucial building block in modern society. It is the backbone of many of the advances that we enjoy on a day to day basis and we likely take for granted (especially if we live in a developed city). Or if we look at it in another way, behind every sports technology or innovation we talk about in our site is the work of a bunch of developers, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, scientists and/or technologists. And these group of people probably spent a part of their lives learning about STEM.
But learning STEM is not always an easy journey and can easily be perceived as difficult and boring. So in recent years, programs have been developed that try to incorporate fun stuff/activities to encourage the learning of STEM. The more common/popular ones often incorporate toys (like Lego) and robotics. Being a Sports Technology site, we are excited to share about a STEM program that incorporates (what else but) Sports Technology!
STEMfit is a little project started by a group of people who are passionate about physical education, sports science and technology. Their story started a few years back with a long drive to the very, very remote schools of the Northern Territory. It is there that Jim noticed the astonishing physical abilities of the children. Despite the stony ground and being barefoot, it was obvious that they easily outperform their metropolitan counterparts. Jim later returned with a host of sports science and wearable technologies to measure the children’s capabilities and he was immediately a rockstar. Noticing the engagement, Jeff (the school principal) saw an opportunity to harness this for STEM education objectives. Then, enter Dan, a world-leading wearables developer, and an EduTech venture was formed with the support of Charles Darwin University and the Department of Education.
Their program basically starts with the children running, jumping and throwing balls in the playground, all the time with wearable sensors (IMUs) strapped onto them. Then they head back to their classroom to find out how their bodies move and how they might actually be on par with their favourite athlete. So not only do the children get their dose of physical activity, they also get to learn about the physics and numbers around their movements. And that’s where they get STEMFit!
If you have come across a similar STEM program that incorporates Sports Technology, let us know by leaving a comment below. With that thanks for reading!