ANDOVER (CBS) — About a dozen kids are having a blast at a one-of-a-kind setup at the Andover Y.M.C.A.
An interactive play wall gets them running, crawling, balancing and throwing.
“We’ve found that physical activity in children is at an all time low and we need creative and innovative ways to get kids moving,” Dr. Kyle McInnis of Merrimack College said.
That’s why Dr. McInnis and a team from Merrimack College created “Active Science” for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
“They’re wearing pedometers or accelerometers that pick up things like their step count, miles, distance that they travel, calories that are burned,” Dr. McInnis added.
“In Active Science, you get to have fun, play around and get physically active,” student Kevin Rodriguez said.
“Active Science really gets me pumped for everything in the world,” Deivi Sano, another student, said.
And it doesn’t have to happen in a high tech environment. An old-fashioned playground does the trick just as well.
“We’re gonna do the tablets, ok?”
And after working up a healthy sweat, the kids cool down by working with their own data, collected by the wearable gadgets.
“Kids take their physical activity data and they actually enter it into a mobile app that we’ve developed,” Dr. McInnis said.
The data is plotted into graphs and tables and the kids play games using the information, learning science on the sly.
“The kids are perceive this as an activity, as something fun, as a game. They don’t perceive it as homework or a chore,” McInnis said.
And that’s the second goal of the program, to make kids curious about science.
“Learning about, like, what hypothesis are,” student Ava Cole said.
“When I come here, I feel great,” Christian Irving adds.
“It just makes you smarter,” Kaliana Dow said.