A prototype data collector taped to the wrists of 27 Clyde Fenton Primary schoolchildren has recorded information about their biology during exercise, and when still.
The trial of the device is part of project to develop robust, reliable and wearable technology, to help students better understand how their bodies operate, and to stimulate creative STEM-related thinking.
Development of the recorder — funded by a $77,000 Department of Education innovation grant — is a collaboration between Charles Darwin University, Clyde Fenton Primary School, Timber Creek, Bulla Camp and Amanbidji schools.
The Year 5 and 6 students jumped at Darwin’s Flip Out trampoline centre, allowing variables such as height, heart rate, distance, speed and breathing to be logged.
Principal Jeff Parker said: “There are many applications for these facts in STEM subjects, but when significant data is collected about the students they will be more motivated to analyse it.
“I was impressed with the high number of authentic and extended discussions among the students, prompted by the technology and its applications.”
Student Christine Hill was intrigued by the capacity and versatility of the little computer. “So much data can be collected by the tiny device,” she said. “You can record heart rate, breathing, distance travelled, average speed, height of jumps, time spent still and time spent moving. It was awesome to see.”
The university’s senior lecturer in exercise and sports science, Dr Jim Lee, said: “This high capacity technology permits the collection of enormous amounts of data. We are still working through what information we want to capture, and how we can best provide it to schoolchildren so that they can interpret it.”