TECHFIT professional development (PD)

Do you want your middle school students (and their teachers) to be excited about STEM and computing, practice technology innovation, and enjoy being physically active? If your answer is yes, then please encourage middle school teachers you know to apply to our 2019 TECHFIT professional development (PD) program this summer: July 22-27, 2019 at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC (required check-in is on July 21) TECHFIT is an acronym for Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists, and the name literally explains the objectives of this project. Our PD programs equip teachers with a variety of practical STEM skills and fitness experiences, so they can innovate and implement a functional, prototype, technology-based, fitness game (exergame) of their own design. Each teacher team then teaches their students the same things via an afterschool program or an in-school class, so their students can invent, program, and build their own exergames. In December, each participating school will have an opportunity to compete at a regional TECHFIT Showcase where the TECHFIT regional championship trophy will be awarded to the winning team As of December 2018, TECHFIT has offered ten sets of PD programs to over 150 middle school teachers from 60 middle schools in eleven different states: Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Washington. Faculty at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, provide STEM instruction to TECHFIT teachers, while consultants with health and kinesiology expertise provided fitness instruction. Depending on each school’s unique situation, each teacher team may adapt TECHFIT for their school using our standards-based curriculum models for afterschool or in-school. Beyond sparking an interest in STEM subjects in your students, the TECHFIT program introduces students to tools and practices that extend beyond the program. For example, TECHFIT students can 1) develop interactive stories with Scratch for language arts and social studies classes, 2) create a NanoNavigator flowchart to explain how an automated system works in a science or tech class, and 3) design a fitness activity to get people’s heart rates up in a PE class. The best part about TECHFIT is that there is no cost to participate other than paying for their own travel to/from the summer PD and some food costs not covered by the program. In fact, each teacher will receive a $100 daily stipend for the summer training and another $500 for the program delivery during the school year as long as they fulfill all requirements of the program. Additionally, we will provide certificates of completion that qualify towards accumulation of professional growth points (PGPs) to support the renewal of their teaching credentials in Indiana. Teachers from other states have been able to use these certificates in similar ways. Each teacher team also receives a technology toolkit valued at over $4500 that they use during the summer training and that their students will use in the TECHFIT program/class offered by their school. To be considered for one of the TECHFIT PD programs in 2019, teachers must apply online. Each teacher must apply separately, and multiple teachers from the same school are strongly encouraged to apply. The online application system will be available until March 29. A review committee will evaluate all applications individually and as a school team, and the program manager will make the final decision based on the committee’s feedback. Final decisions regarding acceptance into the 2019 programs will be sent to all applicants by April 20. If you have questions or need additional information about TECHFIT, please visit our website at http://techfit.tech.purdue.edu or send email to techfit@purdue.edu.