The Science Department Salutes Barber Middle School Tech Fit Competition Students.
Barber Middle School student Andrew Blatnik recently received 1st Runner Up in the 2020 Purdue University Tech Fit Competition. The Tech Fit Competition Team led by teacher Allison Bush, work together to solve real world problems and design technology-based fitness games to promote a healthy lifestyle. We had an opportunity to ask Mrs. Bush and Andrew a few questions about their experience.
Mrs. Bush, what is the Tech Fit Competition?
A Tech Fit (Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists) opportunity from Purdue University was shared by a fellow STEM colleague (Ms. Watts) over the summer of 2020. According to techfit.tech.purdue.edu/ the goal of Tech Fit is to inspire middle school students to become a generation of innovators to design and implement technology-based fitness games to get people moving and having fun while simultaneously and positively improving their health. As a running club coach and science teacher I wanted to share this STEM opportunity with my students. I applied to the program and was accepted to serve as an instructor to carry out the program at Murray F. Barber Middle School in 8th grade for the 2020-2021 schoolyear. I completed an over 60+ intense hours program to help prepare for my facilitation and took part in several Saturday trainings throughout 2020. With the extreme challenges with Covid-19, and teaching both F2F and remotely (unknowns) a lot of creativity was essential to be met with any form of success. I am pleased to report that our 8th Grade Tech Fit students rose to the challenge and demonstrated resilience along the way. In 8th Grade, Two Teams participated in the “group category” of the competition, and one student participated in the “individual category”. There was also 1 entry to this competition from our 7th grade STEM class. In this National Tech Fit Competition, 2020 held by Purdue University, I am proud to share that Andrew Blatnik brought home the 1st Runner Up Award for his submission to the “individual category”.
Andrew, you placed 1st Runner Up at the Tech Fit Competition, tell us about your experience.
My experience for creating this video of my exergame has been a very easy journey from the start of learning about STEM in the 7th grade to the current moments of planning and producing an exergame for the Tech Fit competition in 8th grade. In my STEM classes at Barber Middle School, I had a lot of class sessions where I was able to prepare and was informed that this would be a Tech Fit building project to promote exercise. The STEM classes leading up to the competition helped me to understand what needed to be done and how I could accomplish it. I was at a point where I needed help and Ms. Bush always knew the best solution on how to help me. She was super helpful, and I got the grip of how to build and code an exergame. Near the final days of the project Ms. Bush gave me a rubric for the project to help my video and the exergame be as perfect as can be. The rubric helped me to self-check and carefully review all parts of my design before its’ final submission to the competition. I enjoy learning and demonstrating what I have learned about the engineering design process!
Christian Cali, Supervisor
Contributing Author: Alana Davis, Professional Learning Specialist, Science