Sally Edwards returns to MTHS, shares to students why technology is necessary in P.E. classes

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On Friday, February 26, Heart Zones USA spokesperson Sally Edwards spoke to P.E. teacher Susan Lahti’s sixth period class for the second time about why the new Smart Sensor is vital to have in P.E. classes.

She explained that P.E. class is not recess and should not be treated as such. In order for students to properly get fit, they need to have data presented to them on how hard they’ve been working.

This data is presented with the Smart Sensor. Lahti has every student’s heart rate shown on a screen projected to the back of the gym. There, students are able to see where their heart rate is at.

Lahti wanted everyone in her class to get up to at least a “yellow zone,” or what Edwards calls the “working hard zone.”

Edwards shared a story with the class about a friend she knew who used a Smart Sensor on a running horse and was able to train his horse to run faster than the others because of the data collected.

This horse won every race for weeks, Edwards said, until he rounded a corner and fell. Edwards called this “crashing,” because he was kept in the “red zone,” or “dangerous zone,” for so long and sprinted every race.

However, if he had had what Edwards referred to as “intervals,” where an athlete has a day in which they stay in the “blue zone,” or their resting heart zone and another day where they get all the way to the red zone.

Edwards compared her friend’s horse to a competitor in a 100 miles race that was winning by three hours until he also “crashed” at 75 miles.

Edwards called Lahti the “best teacher in the state of Washington” because of how Lahti reached out to Edwards about the Smart Sensor.

Two years ago, when Lahti heard about this new technology at a national P.E. conference held in Seattle, she immediately spoke with Edwards after. Edwards sent Lahti a set of 20 Smart Sensors as a loan.

Lahti then had Principal Greg Schwab test one out and after he wore on and ran in the gym, according to Lahti, he told Lahti “we have to buy a set of these.”

After convincing the Edmonds School District school board to budget money for a full set of 40, Lahti bought an iPad with her own money in order for them to work since the Smart Sensors are an Apple product.

Now students are doing almost the same things they used to, but now with data and are able to look up at their heart rate and see if they’ve been working too little and are in the blue zone or too hard and have been in the red zone for too long.

“This is real science coming into schools. We need to include [student’s] psychology and help [students] grow,” Edwards said.

Related story: Professional speaker comes to MTHS, speaks to P.E. students

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