TECHFIT showcase features exergame inventions by students from 5 states

Seven teams of middle school students from five states were featured in the fourth annual TECHFIT Showcase on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The TECHFIT (Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists) teams applied their skills in computing, technology, engineering and creativity to devise their own technology-supported fitness games, referred to as exergames.

The all-day event gave each team 20 minutes to present their TECHFIT experience, show their Scratch exergame animation, and demonstrate playing their exergame on a 30’ x 30’ space on the gym floor. The competing teams at the showcase were:

  • Charleston Charter Math and Science in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Faircrest Memorial Middle School in Canton, Ohio
  • Freedom Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee
  • Hayward Middle School in Springfield, Ohio
  • J. O. Strong Middle School in Melvindale, Michigan
  • McMurray Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Winamac Middle School in Winamac, Indiana

The seven teams competing at the showcase were selected from nineteen teams in seven states that completed a 30+ hour academic TECHFIT program at their schools this fall. Selection for the showcase was based on video submissions that were evaluated by TECHFIT staff and through public voting. All students competing at the showcase received Showcase Qualifier certificates and medals.

Hayward Middle School, recipient of the people’s choice award, received over 1100 votes from over 6400 votes that were cast by the public. Freedom Middle School received the fitness award and was the showcase runner-up. Hayward Middle School was announced as the showcase champion.

Representatives from two corporate partners were part of TECHFIT’s judging panel at the showcase. Phoenix Contact is based in Middletown, Pennsylvania. The company donates the Nanoline microcontroller systems, including the controller, power supply and components that connect the system. Balluff, based in Florence, Kentucky, supplies a variety of electronic sensors, including photo optic and capacitive sensors. The companies provided TECHFIT with more than $50,000 worth of technology that was used to equip the toolkits provided to the nineteen school teams. For more information about TECHFIT or to apply for the TECHFIT professional development training opportunity in summer 2018, contact Alka Harriger at Purdue University.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation, awards DRL-1312215 and DRL-1640178. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.