About a year ago I responded to a tweet from an Australian company VEA wanting beta testers for an interactive PE/Energy systems program they had produced. I was tasked with trialling the resource and feeding back to the company. The resource was a product that gamified the learning of the energy systems for Yr12 and Yr13 students. The game revolves around “The worlds of Navitas”, a group of planets where knowledge is power. As you explore the worlds and the best “Athletes” from each world you gain knowledge about food for fuel, ATP and the 3 energy systems.
After exploring the resource with my Yr13 A level students we gave feedback to VEA and I was surprised to hear from them a few months later wanting to set a meeting up with the project manager Cameron Hallowell. Cameron was on a visit from Australia and wanted to get more feedback on the completed project from the students and I. After a very productive meeting I was allowed to trial the completed resource and again feedback my opinion and that of the students.
Due to personal circumstances I have only just managed to write this review and am pleased to say that the resource has been turned into an App available to download on the App Store.
Once you have explored each athlete in turn the next stage of the game is to use your new knowledge to develop a diet that will allow them to race in optimum condition. You choose what food groups they have and when they can have them ie pre season, during training or on race day. Once you are happy that they have the right balance of nutrients you can go to the race day. The race involves you sliding a catcher across the screen to catch energy as they drop down the screen. The controls are easy to use and the gaming side of the App is actually quite addictive! As you start the race you collect more ATP-PC then move up the energy systems depending on the length of the race. Each time you collect an energy source your speed in the race is increased.
If you don’t manage to win the race you are given an indication of what “world” and thus what information you need to know to improve your race.
Each athlete’s bio is well produced and looks good, giving you an insight into the specialist information that they have. The graphics are visually stunning and if you have a student that is a visual learner then this is definitely the resource for them.
The information contained in the app is aimed at A level PE students and the physiological content is perfect for the AQA specification and includes information on sources of fuel, the catabolism of ATP, the ATP PC system, Anaerobic glycolysis and The Aerobic energy system.
The app has been produced to a very good standard and looks very professional. The cost allows this app to be available to all at only £2.99, much cheaper than a resource of this quality would be to a school.
I used the app with my Yr13 students in May as a revision tool before their final exam. They were impressed by the quality of the app and of the ease of use. They noted that the content was exactly what I had already taught them but in a “much more fun way”!!!! And I really believe that this is the key to the App. It presents complex physiological content in a manner that the students have experience and confidence in using. The game content is fun and addictive and allows the students to put into practise the knowledge of the energy systems.
Overall, this is a brilliant App that should be mandatory for all students studying energy systems as part of their A Level PE studies.