1. Alka Harriger
  2. https://tech.purdue.edu/profile/harrigea
  3. Professor & co-PI
  4. TECHFIT
  5. http://techfit.tech.purdue.edu
  6. Purdue University
  1. Brad Harriger
  2. https://tech.purdue.edu/profile/bcharrig
  3. Professor & PI
  4. TECHFIT
  5. http://techfit.tech.purdue.edu
  6. Purdue University
  1. Mayari Serrano
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/mayariserrano
  3. TECHFIT
  4. http://techfit.tech.purdue.edu
  5. Purdue University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Facilitator
    May 11, 2015 | 07:22 a.m.

    A very unique combination of STEM and active learning for teachers and students. How do you recruit students for the after school program? How many schools and students are involved and what is the makeup of the participants? Can you provide examples of what the students have designed and developed? What was the most difficult challenge you faced in carrying out the program? Any plans to expand the teams or partner schools? How do you evaluate results?

  • Icon for: Mayari Serrano

    Mayari Serrano

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2015 | 10:23 a.m.

    TECHFIT recruits teachers that later run an afterschool program during the school year for 6th-8th grade students. TECHFIT unites teachers from different disciplines at the same school and show them how to work collaboratively to develop an afterschool program in which the end goal is the creation of a unique exergame using component parts from a supplied technology toolkit.

  • Icon for: Debra Bernstein

    Debra Bernstein

    Facilitator
    May 11, 2015 | 12:13 p.m.

    I like the idea of facilitating teacher collaboration across disciplines, and am curious to hear more about that aspect of your project. How have the teachers reacted? Have you seen good examples of cross-disciplinary synergy, or is it difficult for participants to think across disciplines?

  • Icon for: Mayari Serrano

    Mayari Serrano

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 11:06 a.m.

    In this first year of TECHFIT our teachers participants taught science, pre-engineering, intro to engineering design, principles of engineering, language arts, social studies, physical education, math and computer technology .
    The teachers worked great together and all members actively participated in the development and implementation of the exergames.

  • Icon for: Debra Bernstein

    Debra Bernstein

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 01:37 p.m.

    That sounds like a great outcome. Are there specific steps you took to help facilitate the cross-disciplinary collaboration among the teachers? Or do you think it just happened naturally?

  • Icon for: Mayari Serrano

    Mayari Serrano

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2015 | 10:32 a.m.

    Teachers from 8 schools were recruited in South Carolina and Indiana. Almost 200 middle school students participated on the after school program.

  • Icon for: Nevin Katz

    Nevin Katz

    Facilitator
    May 11, 2015 | 10:02 p.m.

    Awesome program! I really like the integration of phys ed and technology. What type of programming was the first student talking about? I noticed that they were using a graphical tool for doing their programming and what type of software were this?

    Also, do echo Vivian, I would love to see some examples of what the students have developed!

  • Icon for: Mayari Serrano

    Mayari Serrano

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 10:42 a.m.

    The Nanoline microcontroller uses flowchart programming . The nanoNavigator software provides an easy and fast programming process of the microcontroller. Additionally, users do not need to have prior programming experience to work with it .
    To construct the flowchart, the tool provides blocks to represent programming concepts, which are color and shape coded. Also, the tool has a built in simulation tool that may be used to dynamically observe and track program behavior.

  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 08:31 a.m.

    This discussion made me wonder if any of the middle school coaches for more traditional sports( soccer, baseball, football, track, etc) show any interest in this or have participated in any way.

  • Icon for: Mayari Serrano

    Mayari Serrano

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 11:10 a.m.

    We did have a couple of PE teachers that also coached the football teams of the schools. All PE teachers collaborated on the programming and wiring of the devices. I believe that after the workshop all the teachers increased their knowledge and confidence when working with this kind of technology.

  • Icon for: Nevin Katz

    Nevin Katz

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 11:12 a.m.

    Having run track for eight years back in the day, there are a lot of opportunities for mathematical computation – in terms of calculating speed, pace, heart rate, etc. especially if GPS functionality can be integrated! (Maybe it already is?) My RunKeeper app uses a lot of this functionality to provide feedback.

    Also, I’m wondering if a device could be placed inside a ball (ex. a soccer ball) to measure its velocity / geolocation and then transmit this data to a server…?

    So cool that you are using Nanoline to make programming more accessible. Syntax can be a drag for young kids learning to program and graphical approaches like Nanoline, Scratch, and the Lego NXT programming interface helps get around that and teach the programming concepts first!

    To others – what questions do you have for Mayari about how TECHFIT works? Any ideas about activities for a given sport?

  • Icon for: Mayari Serrano

    Mayari Serrano

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2015 | 11:06 a.m.

    The base unit has eight digital inputs, two analog inputs, and four relay digital output channels. A control panel was installed in the unit, which is used as an interaction interphase. This interphase allows displaying messages and reading the status of input/output, registers, timers, counters, and flags. The actual microcontroller do not have to be pleased on the fitness activity, participants used several sensors to track movement and pressure.

  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 03:37 p.m.

    I’d be interested in knowing What research questions you are investigating? Are you looking at pre-post attitudes, knowledge and behaviors related to understanding engineering technology and pursuing physical fitness activities? Will you do any followup with the students?

  • Icon for: Mayari Serrano

    Mayari Serrano

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2015 | 10:57 a.m.

    The teacher assessments are focused on attitude towards technology and Engineering Design Practices, fitness, interdisciplinary teamwork and learning gains. Teachers are evaluated before the summer workshop, at the end of the workshop, during the after school program, and at the end of the afterschool program.

    Students are evaluated on attitude towards technology , fitness, and science prior to the after school program, at the end of the after school program, a final survey is collected a 3 to 6 months later.

  • Icon for: Alka Harriger

    Alka Harriger

    Presenter
    May 13, 2015 | 07:20 p.m.

    Thanks to everyone who has added comments, and thanks to Mayari who has been an exceptional research assistant for TECHFIT. Brad and I (lead investigators) have been away due to family obligations and an upcoming anniversary celebration. Nonetheless, we welcome your comments, questions, and ideas, and will respond to any questions that haven’t been addressed yet. Below are a few that I noticed:
    1) Recruitment: Our partners work in South Carolina, where we also run TECHFIT programs. Their specialty is health and kinesiology. They have made personal visits to a number of schools to recruit teacher participants. We invited the school officials to contact us if they wanted a visit, but only 2 took us up on that. Additionally, Mayari has researched public school databases to garner email contact information for middle schools in IN, SC, and a few surrounding states. We sent customized email messages informing the contacts about the program. Mayari made phone calls to the schools that had higher numbers of our target group of students (minorities). Last year and this year, we’ve had more than double the number of teachers and schools apply for which we have space.
    2) Programming tool(s): We teach two programming tools. Scratch is used for developing simulations of their exergames and used in explaining how to play. Nano Navigator is one of the programming tools that can control the operation of the Nanoline microcontroller (the brains of the exergame). Because it is a flowcharting tool, it is easier for novices to learn. On a related note, the company that owns the nano controller sponsors a contest for students every fall where they can build some automated system. They supply a free toolkit and a giftcard to purchase other components needed to build their system. We’ve been working with the company to host the Midwest and southeast regionals. The contest is a great way to strengthen our relationship with one of our corporate partners as well as disseminate information about a tool that allows kids to creatively innovate.
    3) Student examples: The best way to get an idea of what the student teams created is to watch the showcase videos that are available from our website (TECHFIT.tech.purdue.edu). A few clips were part of the video we have here.

  • Icon for: Debra Bernstein

    Debra Bernstein

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2015 | 09:46 p.m.

    This sounds like such a great opportunity for students and teachers. Can you say a little bit about the design process that the teams (students and teachers) go through to design their exergames? Any places that they tend to get stuck/have trouble, or places that surprised you that they needed more support than you anticipated or didn’t need it at all?

  • Icon for: Nevin Katz

    Nevin Katz

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2015 | 01:22 p.m.

    Scratch serves as a great on-ramp for programming with its syntax-free use of draggable coding pieces, so it’s great that this project incorporates it. Do you have a link to the contest you were speaking of?

    I echo Debra’s questions – I’m also interested in hearing about teams’ design process, surprises along the way, and areas where they excelled or needed help.

  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2015 | 04:10 p.m.

    Thanks for an active and interesting discussion. I learned a lot

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.