Pedometer-carrying PE students walk among us

You walk to your English class, and now you have to walk to your math class. Then, at lunch time, you walk with your friends some more. Do you ever wonder how much you walk in a day? Well the U.S. Department of Education sure does.

About 500 students from CVHS have been wearing pedometers in recent weeks. A pedometer is a device which counts the number of steps you take, and then converts that into a  distance.

In agreeing to have students wear pedometers, CVHS has signed up for a rather “exclusive club” of the U.S. Department of Education that funds the CVHS students with sports equipment and training.

“The money is going to professional development and equipment,” said P.E. teacher John Edwards. The data collected from the pedometers are sent to machines, which feed all the numbers to a research team.

But the pedometers are not the end.

“Pedometers are just the beginning,” said Edwards. “We will be getting heart rate monitors soon. There will be a new test every two to three weeks, and this could go on for several years.”

The funds will be indirect, which means we will not see any actual money. Instead, the funds will appear in other forms, such as new equipment or better trained physical education teachers. But how much money is the equipment actually worth? The Castro Valley Unified School District has already received a machine worth thousands of dollars to collect data, and new weight lifting equipment is expected too.

“I think it’s fine,” said sophomore Casey Hauber. “The pedometer only gets in the way when you’re changing, and you just have to remember to not get it wet or step on it.”

Speculations did arise, however, after students were asked their thoughts about the timing of the deal.

“Why do these tests during finals week?” asked Hauber. “Most people are getting around a lot less than usual because we all have to sit down and study.”

It will be for the Department of Education to decide, but the P.E. teachers also want to know what’s going on.

“Remember that about 1,400 steps running is a mile, and 2,000 steps walking is a mile. Along with the heart rate monitor, we will be able to see how hard each student is really trying, and can assess the needs of the study students,” said Edwards. “And you can always see the pedometer students. Now, they have a little more pep in their step.”

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