December 11, 2017

Purdue TECHFIT showcase features students’ tech-based exergames

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Teams of middle school students from five states will be featured in the fourth annual TECHFIT Showcase at the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center.

The TECHFIT (Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists) teams apply their skills in computing, technology, engineering and creativity to devise their own technology-supported fitness and exercise games, referred to as exergames.

The event runs from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 12) in the Feature Gym of the Co-Rec Center with an awards presentation beginning at 3:15 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Purdue professors Brad and Alka Harriger are coordinating the event.

Each team will have 10 minutes to present their experiences and display an interactive animation of their exergame. They will have another ten minutes to demonstrate their game.

Seven teams out of a field of 14 were selected during the summer to compete at the showcase. The competing teams at the showcase are:

* Winamac Middle School in Winamac, Indiana.

* Hayward Middle School in Springfield, Ohio.

* Faircrest Memorial Middle School in Canton, Ohio.

* J. O. Strong Middle School in Melvindale, Michigan.

* McMurray Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee.

* Freedom Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee.

* Charleston Charter Math and Science in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Everyone is welcome to attend and cheer on these middle school innovators and encourage them to continue studying computing, technology and engineering,” Alka Harriger said.

Representatives from two corporate tech partners will be part of TECHFIT’s judging panel at the showcase. Phoenix Contact is based in Middletown, Pennsylvania. The company donates the Nanoline microcontroller systems, including the controller, power supply and components that connect the system. Balluff, based in Florence, Kentucky, supplies a variety of electronic sensors, including photo optic and capacitive sensors. The companies provide TECHFIT with more than $50,000 worth of technology that is used to equip the toolkits provided to the nineteen school teams. 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, 

Source: Alka Harriger, 765-494-2565,

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