Phoenix elementary school using new technology to help kids learn and get in shape at same time

A new Lu system was donated to Desert Shadows Elementary School in Phoenix so now students can move around and learn during PE at the same time.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:56 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A Phoenix elementary school is using new technology to help teach students while getting them in shape.

Coach Richard Shannon said the Desert Shadows Elementary School’s PTA recently donated an all-new high-tech teaching tool called the Lu Interactive System. It is an immersive educational program that allows children to exercise and learn at the same time. “It makes physical activity not just about your body, but also about learning,” said Shannon. “If we can help those homeroom teachers get kids engaged in another way, that’s fantastic.”

Desert Shadows is the first school in the Phoenix area to use the Lu System, which costs around $50,000 and has about 50 different programs. Students can move with a virtual dance troupe, throw balls at the wall to answer math problems, run relays to answer geography questions and follow ships across the sea. “It brings really everybody together and it’s so fun and enjoyable,” said sixth grader Adalyn Eslick. “I think it makes everybody happy.”

“Every time I come back from PE, everybody is just asking me what we did in LU and they’re like, ‘what are we going to do?’” said sixth grader Brian Issitt.

The Lu system can process the movements of students in real time and provide immediate feedback while encouraging teamwork. Coach Shannon said it’s done wonders getting students who don’t love PE excited about coming to class. “I can ask kids to do pushups, do burpees, do jumping jacks and they might be engaged,” said Shannon. “But man, you put the music on, put a timer on, you make it a challenge, that gets them fired up.”

The new technology has not entirely replaced outdoor activity but has been worked into the physical education program. The only problem is that students wish PE class lasted a little longer. “It’s been nothing but positive,” said principal Bryan Cunningham. “It’s just great to be able to bring something cutting edge, 21st century into our school and something unique to our school, as well.

The Lu System has been such a hit the school is now looking to use it for other classes like art, music and science.

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