Document Type

Article - Open Access

Publication Title

International Journal of Science Education and Civic Engagement

Publication Date

Winter 2013

Abstract/ Summary

Background: Recommendations from leading U.S. health agencies concerned with reducing childhood obesity call for increased physical activity during school and afterschool environments. Methods: We developed the Active Science curriculum, which is a variety of activity-based lessons (e.g., nature hike, dance class, walk at local park, treadmill at local YMCA) and incorporated them into traditional science classes and after school programs for middle school children in a low-income, ethnically diverse community. Following the activity experiments, students and teachers uploaded data from devices to an interactive website that provided inquiry-based exploratory learning of science content. Results: Physical activity results showed that the activity portion of the program were consistent with national recommendations for accumulating physical activity. Significant increases in science inquiry test scores from pre- to post were observed. Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest incorporating movement into traditional science curriculum helps to promote physical activity and academic performance in underprivileged middle school-age students.