What does fitness have to do with science, technology, engineering and math?

Volunteers from the Fort Jackson community filled the C.C. Pinckney gym Feb. 13 to show the connection between STEM and fitness in everyday life.

"Without STEM we wouldn't have the measurements needed to determine how fast or how far we can run, how many pounds we can lift or how many calories our body needs to stay healthy," said Dan Ferreira, physical therapist at C.C. Pinckney Elementary School. "STEM in the gym is important because it teaches the students how to measure how far they are progressing with fitness."

Among the volunteers was Sgt. First Class Dawn Westgate, who instructed students in the basic discipline of kinesiology in a fun way using yoga.

"Core fitness, stability, and balance is the basis of movement, and if you can do those well and have flexibility it leads to the students being a better athlete and can reduce injuries," she said.

Westgate, who has volunteered for STEM night for the past three years at C.C. Pinckney said this is the best time to introduce children to the benefits of basics of proper movement.

"At this age students are naturally flexible and showing them how to incorporate yoga into their lifestyle can help them to achieve lifelong wellness, health and fitness," she said.

Other educational activities that focused on at the event were nutrition, dental hygiene, physical fitness, and community safety.

"STEM in the gym helps the students connect fitness with nutrition to show that it is a full balance," said Dr. Theresa Harvey, C.C. Pinckney Principal., "It brings an awareness of how food can be your medication and medicine your food, how physical education isn't just about running and playing, it's a class that focuses on exercise and fitness."