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Pegaso really gets going!
Pegaso, the project co-financed by the European Union and aimed to redefine the teenagers’ relationship with food and sport, really gets going: how are the adolescents reacting?
Some tested the app to judge bars and restaurants, some played the “serious game”, some wore the gadgets to test if they were comfortable: in April 2016 the three pre-pilot phases of the project Pegaso – Fit 4 Future will be concluded.
The aim of the initiative, which lasted three year and a half and was coordinated by the Department of Design at the Politecnico di Milano and the Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, is to promote sustainable behaviours and educate children to adopt healthy food habits and do regular physical exercise in order to fight against teenage obesity.
How? Through technology. In the pre-pilot phases, adolescents have tested everything, from the E-diary app that tracks what they eat every day, to the Pegaso places app that let them discover where the services related to the project are located (for example swimming pools and gyms); from virtual games that promote a less sedentary lifestyle to the Smart T-shirt that monitors the teenagers’ physiological parameters using special sensors.
Only volunteer high-school students aged 14 to 16 coming from Catalonia (Spain), England and Scotland (UK) and Lombardy (Italy), who are accustomed to use electronic devices and have a good knowledge of English, participated in the pre-pilot phases. In Italy, the high schools involved are the second level college of science “Elio Vittorini” and the polytechnic school “Giulio Natta”, Milan.
Every school tested a specific part of the project. At the end of each phase, the students discussed their experience, providing useful feedbacks on the comfort and appearance of the gadgets or sensors and the practicality and usefulness of the app and the services offered by Pegaso.
“The students were intrigued by this new experience that is very close to their world and the way they communicate,” says Cristina Adriani, who teaches 2 M, a second grade class at the Natta polytechnic school that participated in the project. “They considered the idea interesting and the said that the possibility to connect their mobiles to other devices such as the T-shirts with sensors was original. The teachers” she added, “were glad to see the students’ enthusiasm for all new technologies and had the opportunity to reflect on the need to include technologies in all disciplines.”
According to Claudia Papini, who teaches the 2 G at the Vittorini science college “the frequent use of technological devices dissuades teenagers from doing physical exercise; Pegaso’s bet is to use these devices to promote a healthy lifestyle. Our students embraced the project with interest and curiosity: they’re part of a European project, they move, register, share: this is no small thing!”
In the testing phase, students provided many ideas linked to the game, from graphics to game controls and the definition of the game objective. All these aspects have been included in a report that – once provided to developers – will help to further improve the services offered by Pegaso: the goal is being prepared when the pilot phase, which will involve other young students, will start in the next academic year.
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