STEAM EDUCATION MEETS EXERCISE: INTRODUCING THE RUN CHALLENGE PROJECT IN THE MIDST OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS
1 Danube University Krems (AUSTRIA)
2 Space21Future (AUSTRIA)
3 P&B Emtech Lab (MALTA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Internationally and nationally, efforts to promote active, health-promoting and sufficient mobility are increasingly becoming the focus of attention. This is being triggered by, amongst other things, a growing lack of exercise, intensified climate protection efforts and the increasing burden of motorized private transport (e.g. the increase in pollutant emissions, land sealing, noise and traffic jams). Walking and cycling, as the most natural forms of active mobility, conserve resources, are socially just, promote health and are self-sufficient. According to the latest physical activity guidelines (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018), individuals should undertake at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.
The Space21Future run challenge will be critically analysed to identify how physical activity and STEAM education can be combined during the challenging Covid-19 period and the massive restrictions in schools in order to create motivating lessons for children and adolescents. The underlying idea is that Microbits can be programmed with block-based language, so that they serve as a pedometer. A software called ‘Move-Effect’ is then used to enter the respective kilometres covered for the challenge. The concept itself is inclusive: children who have not yet received Microbits from the schools can also participate with their smartphones where the distance metrics are tracked via Google Maps or similar software. This paper analyses the data from the accompanying research for the Space21Future run challenge. The strengths and weaknesses of the project are clearly identified with the aim for this case study to inspire similar cross-school and cross-curricular challenges that will foster self-efficacy and offer a forward looking perspective to young people, but also to educators, especially in times of crisis.
Keywords: Active Mobility, Microbits, STEAM Education.