Heart Health and Wearable Tech

By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator

In STEM Club, we stress the importance of multidisciplinary learning and problem-solving by allowing students to engage in hands-on STEM challenges. Remember, it takes more than one subject to solve real-world problems. It’s also important to stress a lifelong learning mode where the body and mind are working together. A healthy active mind requires a healthy active body; the two systems work and support each other.

Click on the presentation link below to rewatch the Heart and Circulatory videos watched during STEM Club, https://prezi.com/p/2gqjunmwk9mg/?present=1.

This unit focused on heart health, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, and how wearable tech helps people monitor their heart health, activity levels, and sleep cycles to contribute to a higher quality of life and well-being.

Students learn about the heart, the circulation system, and the respiratory system.

Heart Health

The heart is at the center of our blood delivery system and is therefore central to life and how our body works. The students learned about the anatomy of the heart, a muscle that beats 100,000 times per day in our chests’.

The heart pumps 5-6 quarts of blood each minute through 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our body. If we laid those blood vessels end to end, we could wrap them around Earth two and a half times. That is an incredible factoid to appreciate and hopefully cause the students to want to learn more about our complex human anatomy. Because of our body’s complexity, the students learn that we study the body by its systems. This STEM unit introduced two systems, the circulatory and the respiratory systems, and explained how they work together with the heart.

Source: http://www.sciencebook.dkonline.com/48.html

Wearable Technology

The second half of this unit focused on how wearable tech helps people monitor their heart health, activity levels, and sleep cycles. Wearable technology is a tool to help people maintain an active lifestyle by monitoring their body functions.

Click on the presentation link to review the interactive presentation that was presented during club time. It includes helpful reminders on how to use the smartwatches and pair devices to mobile devices using an App, https://prezi.com/view/8akYElau9Dnfcy90g1pF/.

Our young STEMist learned that physical fitness matters. Our body and brain need a mix of activity and mind challenges to stay healthy. Teens need at least 60 minutes of daily activity, whereas adults can get away with 150 minutes/week! Wearable technology is growing and becoming a popular accessory for all ages. It’s estimated that in 2023 almost 35% of people in the U.S. will be wearing some form of wearable technology.

The unit brokedown wearable technology and allowed students to see and understand all the working components. The students also learned how to calculate their resting heartbeat by hand.

Each student received a smartwatch to measure their heartbeats per minute (BPM) and blood pressure through a green LED pulse sensor. The smartwatch’s tracking features include steps, distance, calories, heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep monitoring, and the ability to be paired with an App for a mobile device for additional data and tracking analysis of heart health. The students were each given a smartwatch to have and continue exploring and using.

Finally, the students engaged in different physical fitness challenges while monitoring their BPMs. Students can also pair their smartwatches with a mobile device to look at their daily, weekly, or monthly activity.  their data to a computer using free downloadable software to continue investigating their physical activity results.

Again refer to the STEM Club presentation on wearable technology for reminders on how to use smartwatches given to each student.

Learning to Code Through Connected Toys: Sphero & Texas Instruments

By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator

Student started their New Year’s applying what they learned about binary code, algorithms, and computer programming to code connected toys and TI-Rovers through an array of challenges and obstacles. Take a minute and watch the program highlight video above.


Rachel Gorsuch, a Math and Data Science Teacher at Teays Valley High School and T3 Regional Instructor for Texas Instruments, visited our program to challenge students to solve open-ended problems by programming the TI-Innovator Rover, a robotic vehicle, through a maze.

Graphing calculators can open new channels for inquiry, exploration and connection as students use the built-in TI-Basic coding language or Python (on equipped handhelds) to program the TI-Innovator components. Students program rovers to put math and science in motion, adding a physical dimension to verbal, symbolic and graphic representations.


Students coded connected drones from Spheros, a robotics company, best known for its programmable robots and connected toys. Students coded both, Sphero RVRs and Sphero Bolt, customizable robots that can be programmed and controlled using various platforms like Scratch, Sphero Edu App, Raspberry Pi, or Arduino.

Our program used Sphero EDU free app available in both Google Play or the App Store. Sphero EDU allows users to program using block code or text.

Sphero is designed to be educational, allowing users to learn about robotics, coding, and electronics in a hands-on way. The Sphero RVR is equipped with various sensors, motors, and expansion ports, making it suitable for a wide range of projects and applications.

You can typically buy Sphero products, including Sphero RVRs, from various retailers both online and in physical stores. Some popular places to purchase Sphero robots include:

  1. Official Sphero website: The official Sphero website often offers a wide range of products directly from the manufacturer.
  2. Online retailers: Websites like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target often carry Sphero products in their inventory.
  3. Specialty robotics or educational stores: Some specialty stores focus on robotics, STEM education, or educational toys, and they may carry Sphero products.
  4. Electronics stores: Stores like Apple Stores, Fry’s Electronics, or Micro Center might have Sphero products available for purchase.

Be Creative, Keep Coding.

Ashville STEM Club Dates Rescheduled


There is an unexpected scheduling conflict with one of our STEM Educators. Please note that the only school impacted by this is ASHVILLE ELEMENTARY STUDENTS.


We are truly sorry for any inconvenience they may cause families.

IMPORTANT CHANGE: November’s Club Dates Changed for Ashville and S. Bloomfield

We are working to accommodate a guest lecturer, Clayton Greenbaum, next month from The Ohio State University. His teaching schedule conflicted with our original club dates. He will be teaching the students about the science of Sound Waves, Electricity, and will lead them through a Paper Speaker Build Challenge along with our high school STEM mentors. This is a really great program and worth adjusting the schedule for. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. Below is a short summary of date changes and what students can expect for their November club meeting.

Nov 11: Walnut (no change)

Nov 12: Ashville (date changed)

Nov 18: Scioto (no change)

Nov 19:  South Bloomfield (date changed)

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering runs a popular outreach program to help K-12 students and their teachers explore engineering. Led by Professor Betty Lise Anderson, the program is specifically designed to encourage students toward STEM fields and to specifically increase the number of women and minorities in engineering. In 2015, the program won Ohio State’s top university-wide Outreach Award.

Watch a video of Anderson and Greenbaum in action at the Marysville, Ohio Early College High School:

Along with assistant Clayton Greenbaum and numerous Ohio State student volunteers, Prof. Anderson visits schools, camps, and after-school organizations to engage young students by teaching them how to build real engineering projects, such as working speakers for smartphones or even wireless LED lights that students can take home. Since 2008, the program has brought hands-on engineering projects to more than 11,000 students, many of whom may never have thought they could be an engineer, or even had any idea what an engineer does. With special attention to high-need schools and districts, kids from diverse backgrounds are being shown the possibilities of careers in STEM fields. Watch a short video here that shows a great example of that special moment when a student “gets it” and becomes inspired by engineering.


How to Pay for STEM Club?


Instruction on how to mail pay your $30 club fee:

  1. PREFERED – online through QuikPay. To access this secure payment option, please click https://go.osu.edu/pickawayextensionpayment.

Add “STEM Club” + “child’s full name” in the Additional Comments section of the online payment form to allow the transaction to be linked to your child membership.

  1. ALTERNATIVE – mail cash/check to OSU Extension, 110 Island Road, Circleville, OH 43113. Please make checks out to OSU Extension, Pickaway County.

*If you indicated a club waiver in your application, please ignore the instructions above!


Acceptance letters will be emailed out to parents this weekend! 

As of Friday, 8/27/21 the Teays Valley COVID-19 Dashboard shows the following COVID-19 stats:

  • Current elementary student cases: 6-Ashville, 11-Scioto, 0-South Bloomfield, 2-Walnut. (District wide 60-students)
  • Current Student Quarantining: 19-Ashville, 59-Scioto, 9-South Bloomfield, 14-Walnut. (District wide 325-students)
  • Current teacher cases: 0-Ashville, 1-Scioto, 1-South Bloomfield, 3-Walnut. (District wide 11-staff)

This program has instituted a club masking requirement, which applies to all elementary students, high school mentors, and instructors participating in this program. If this is an issue please let us know as soon as possible as we will only be permitting students that follow the masking requirement.

For additional information please review COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 School, 7/26/2021. Please visit Teays Valley Local Schools’ COVID-19 Information Hub for additional school information.


As a result of the COVID-19 update and the fact that The OSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering postponed this visit until November, we have decided to postpone starting our club meetings until the end of September, please note the adjusted schedule below and/or visit our club calendar online.

We appreciate your understanding and support during this unprecedented time. Please know that we are very dedicated to this program and want to engage your child in hands-on STEM learning in a safe and engaging environment as soon as possible.


Business, Community, Educational Partnerships Matter. Thank you DuPont!

THANK YOU, DuPont! for your continued support, involvement, and financial donations to OSU Extension and Teays Valley’s Elementary STEM Club Program!

DuPont values business, community, and educational partnerships to improve our youth’s exposure to STEM education and career exploration! Serena Blount from DuPont, thanks for visiting us at our Teays Valley East Middle School’s Environmental Summer Camp, you’re amazing and a true advocate for Pickaway County youth!

Financial Literacy, Stock Market Challenges

Below are stock trading challenges paired with our second club meeting on Financial Literacy and the Stock Market. Please hold back the urge to click on the challenges until our club meeting on Jan. 30th @ 10:00 a.m.

Challenge #1 – Replay the interactive Careers in Finance presentation to help decide if finance is the career pathway for you!

Challenge #2 – Investment Banker Skillset: (skills good for many career paths!)

Challenge #3 – Trading Terms: complete the sentences:

Challenge #4 – Stock Trading Terms: definition match:

Challenge #5 – Stock Trading Terms Crossword: