A game of soccer, volleyball or basketball may seem like an unconventional way to start a science lesson, but in the Lab of Tomorrow sports and other real-life activities merge with theory to create a new educational environment based on the premise that if playing is fun, learning can be too.
Lab of Tomorrow, a project funded under the European Commission’s IST Programme, developed a family of tiny, programmable devices that can be imbedded in clothing, footballs and other items to monitor the wearer’s heart rate, their running pace or the acceleration of a ball. This practical information can be translated into examples of science theory, raising interest and motivation among students, and improving the learning process.
“For students and teachers it represents a major qualitative upgrade to physics teaching, something that is particularly important at a time when studies show interest in science is declining among students of high school age,” explains project manager Sofoklis Sotiriou at Ellinogermaniki Agogi, a Greek school that is overseeing Lab of Tomorrow’s implementation. “We believe the use of advanced technology keeps the motivation of students high because it connects real-life situations with science. And such motivation would seem an evident result of teachers being able to tell students: ‘wear this, go play and then study what you have done’.”
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