TECHFIT: Combining fitness & technology to spark interest in STEM
Wednesday, March 9 1:30 PM-2:00 PM
Presider:Natalie A. Johnson-Leslie, Arkansas State University, United States
The goal of the Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists (TECHFIT) project was to foster middle school student enthusiasm for STEM disciplines by equipping them with the skills to become innovators of interesting, fun, and valuable fitness games. The TECHFIT team conducted a pilot study to test their premise. The study engaged twenty-two seventh grade students in hardware and software lessons and gave them experience with commercially available, technology-supported fitness games (Wii fit, Dance Dance Revolution). Students and parents were given pre-and post-pilot study surveys to assess their enthusiasm for the program and gauge their interest in STEM disciplines. The preliminary results revealed that parents felt that their children’s enthusiasm for TECHFIT increased and that there was an increase in the students’ interest in learning more about engineering, technology, information technology, and computer graphics.