Students exercise STEM in the gym thanks to NEEF grant

Feb 7, 2019 | News

Colonial Hills Elementary School students are enjoying an interactive physical workout while learning about physics-based concepts in gym class thanks to a NEEF Innovative Grant.

Whether it’s exploring the mechanical advantage of a pulley or the splitting power of a wedge, students are excited to learn and exercise concurrently.

“We’ve had some great conversations going on with the students,” Colonial Hills Physical Education Coach Terri Pitts said. “As they go to each station, we hear them sharing thoughts and it seems to be firing up their brains.”

Students made their way through different stations that included one large and one small gear to demonstrate the difference in force required to pull a student when gearing up or down. Students also defined a “screw” by discovering the power of an inclined plane wrapped around an axis for multiple turns.

“My favorite part was the wheel and axle system that involved a scooter board and a wheel so that we could maneuver throughout the gym,” fifth grade student Yesenia Pasiloas said. “Learning about physics while doing physical activity is a lot of fun.”

Among other activities, students also loaded up a seesaw in different configurations to demonstrate shifts in balance.

“The future is becoming more about science, technology, engineering and math, and what better way than to start them in elementary school,” Pitts said. “Research shows that when you do physical activity and a core subject together, they have a tendency to fire up the brain.”

This was made possible through STEM in the Gym, an innovative program funded through the North East Educational Foundation.

“We are so grateful and humbled to be a recipient to this grant,” Pitts said. “I thank the foundation for really helping our kids to be able to take this step up.”

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