TECHFIT Afterschool Program for Students

TECHFIT is an acronym for Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists. The goal of the TECHFIT afterschool program is to build their enthusiasm for engineering-technology and physical fitness. The TECHFIT afterschool program is a research program where only accepted student applicants may participate in program activities. TECHFIT will seek feedback from these accepted students about their experiences in completing various interactive, hands-on activities and their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. Students who choose to voluntarily apply to participate in TECHFIT can opt out of the program at any time; however, once they leave the program, they may not participate in any TECHFIT activities for the remainder of that program period.

In order for students to be accepted into the TECHFIT afterschool program, both the student and his/her parents must complete and return required forms to the TECHFIT program manager:

The signed forms should be returned by the deadline via
  • Email (techfit at purdue dot edu), or
  • FAX (765-496-1212), or
  • Postal mail (Alka Harriger, TECHFIT project manager, CIT Department, Knoy 251, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2021).
In addition, the parent(s) should complete the online form to register his/her child for the TECHFIT program at his/her school.
Registration allows a random and unique 10-digit ID to be generated for each student, and this ID is required when completing program surveys for TECHFIT that will enable the TECHFIT team to study the effectiveness of TECHFIT as well as make ongoing improvements to the program. Students having difficulty registering online may download the registration form, print it, complete it, and return to TECHFIT researchers via email, postal mail or FAX (see above contact details).

Once a student has been accepted into the program by receipt of the ten-digit TECHFIT ID and approval by a TECHFIT teacher at his/her school, the pre-program survey must be completed ideally online. However, if you encounter difficulty with online survey, you may print the form, complete it by hand, and return the completed form to TECHFIT researchers via email, postal mail or FAX (see above contact details).

To preserve the confidentiality of each student's survey feedback, only the TECHFIT project manager and her research team will have access to the original TECHFIT research data. Any reporting of the findings will share only aggregate results.

Students will learn engineering-technology concepts and engage in fitness activities to acquire basic skills to innovate and create their own technology-based fitness games (exergames). The hands-on activities will include computer programming, understanding electricity and safety, using electronics, manufacturing and controls. All students will use tools to construct a variety of animations, software, and exergames. Then all students will engage in the TECHFIT challenge of creating the best exergame based on criteria provided by the host institution (College of Charleston or Purdue University).

Once all students have a basic understanding of all concepts, they will select or be assigned to one or more school sub-teams:

  • S & L (Science and Lifestyle)
  • M & A (Math and Assessment)
  • B & T (Build and Technology)
  • P & G (Promotion and Graphics)
  • C & S (Community and Sustainability)
Each sub-team will support the overall goal of creating the best exergame with broadest appeal and greatest support. Near the end of the calendar year, each school's team will show off their exergame at the host institution's TECHFIT Showcase to compete for a variety of awards.