BURLINGTON — A North Carolina middle school is incorporating new fitness technology into its physical education classes.

Turrentine Middle in Burlington is getting students moving, and learning science, technology, engineering and math skills at the same time. Students in Kevin Wellman's P.E. classes are working out and learning the science behind a healthy heart rate.

"We measure how our heart rates goes up and, depending on our chart, whether that's above, below or average,” said student Julia Connell.

 "Some of my favorite exercises are jogging and step-ups, because those really get my heart working,” said student Jayla Knox.

They're measuring it using heart rate monitors—a donation from Alamance Regional Medical Center.

"They will put the heart rate monitor -- the band -- on the chest, and then will sync it to the watch,” Wellman said.

"We're learning STEM skills because we're using technology, and the math of the heart rate monitor, we have to track it, look at the numbers, and see if it's in the zone, if it's good or bad,” said student Ty Cryan.

Students are also incorporating even more technology in their P.E. class, connecting the heart rate monitors with their iPhones through a free fitness app.

"It definitely works with their other classes,” Wellman said. “We're learning about graphing this week: how to sort their activities, their logs, and where their heart rate is.

It gives them an idea of how to do that."


Wellman said using hands-on fitness learning tools is ideal for kids this age.


"It gives them an idea of 'do I need to work harder, or less?' and try to get in that zone for 30-45 minutes per day,” Wellman said.


The device is helping students develop healthy habits for a lifetime.