The Future is Physical!

For years, physical education (PE) has been an integral program standard at school districts across the country. Like all other educational programs, PE is evolving to meet the needs of a future-focused school curriculum. As a result, personal wellness, fitness technology and whole-student education are becoming prevalent focuses in today’s school gyms and fitness rooms.

One of BLDD’s most forward-thinking clients, Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School District 307 (BBCHS) is taking this challenge to an entirely new level by extending their PE program far beyond games of dodgeball and basketball units. Activities once limited to competing athletes, such as focused fitness and weightlifting classes, are now the core of many of the BBCHS PE classes.

Photo credit: BBCHS facebook page @bbchs307

Beyond expanded PE activities, BBCHS is also leveraging technology in their curriculum. Through technology, faculty can obtain detailed reporting of individual student performance, then create a customized fitness regimen to help each student meet their personal fitness goals. In addition, students can access their personalized fitness plans through iPads associated with each piece of PE equipment in the fitness center. On the playfield, BBCHS faculty use the Catapult system to read student vitals and note student-athlete motion patterns which identify fatigue, non-peak efforts or early signs of injury due to asymmetrical movements.

BBCHS is now working with BLDD Architects to identify what a reimagined, future-focused school will look like for their district, and the framework set by their PE program will help inform these efforts. The possibilities are endless. Imagine students calculating the physics of pressure plate force during a deadlift for maximum impact with minimal effort. Food science could meet physical science, as students prepare nutritional plans to enhance performance and properly fuel their bodies. Students could create personalized fitness regimens for themselves and their peers, customizing their physical education and personal training curriculum through self-discovered research and outcomes. Sounds like the future of education to me!

Check back later this year to see how the future of BBCHS is shaped, as we work together to explore the designs for a future-focused school for the students of today.

Damien Schlitt is an Associate with BLDD Architects, and has been with the firm since graduate school. His focus and passion are the design and construction of K-12 educational spaces that have a direct impact on their users.

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