Students use geocaching technology during P.E. classes

NORTH MIAMI-BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — Some South Florida middle school students are taking part in a very different kind of physical education class with the help of new technology.

P.E. in Miami-Dade County is getting techy as a group of middle and high school students kick it up a notch in their physical education class. "The students have to use a GPS to find the exercise station and then do the exercises with them," said District Director of Physical Education and Health Literacy Jayne Greenberg. 

Faculty at iTech @ Thomas A. Edison are using geocaching to motivate students to exercise at Oleta River State Park. "It’s geocaching. You go to each one and get that excitement," said freshman Jena Standish, "and when you get there, you’re like, ‘Oh, I accomplished that.’"

The students get a GPS to see the course around the park. When they get to each stop, they have a different exercise to do. At one stop, students had to accomplish two sets of a tricep exercise and at another, students will have to participate in sets of lunges, for example. "It’s my first time doing it, and I’m really excited that I found out about it," said Palm Springs Middle student Alexia Ramos. "This is awesome."  

This group of students from Palm Springs Middle and iTech are some of the first in the country to try geocaching in their physical education class. It’s part of Miami-Dade County Public School’s digital convergence. 

Students can use geocaching anywhere. "We can be in nature with the sound of the waters and just walking through and having fun," said iTech student Andre Farrington. "That’s all that really matters. We’re just everywhere walking."

Greenberg said the environment has a lot to do with the exercise strategy. "We want the kids in the environment," she said. "We want them to learn that there’s a whole world around them." 

And the students don’t mind that idea. "If there’s a field trip, I’ll sign up first," Ramos said. "I’ll be the first one there. It’s awesome."