By: William O’Connell, Department Head – SHS PhysEd, Health, Fine Arts
The SHS & STEM Physical Education teachers have implemented the PACER Test into all classes this semester. The acronym “PACER” stands for “Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run.” The 20-meter PACER test, which is also known as the Fitnessgram PACER Test, is a multi-stage aerobic capacity test that slowly gets more difficult as the test progresses through faster and faster levels.
Each level is approximately one minute long and there are a total of 21 levels and 247 laps. Each student has to run between two marked lines in the gym set 20 meters apart, and must run in synchronization with signal beeps. The signal beeps gradually get closer together as the test continues, forcing students to run faster. Students are partnered up with another student and are responsible for tracking each other’s laps completed using the PACER Individual Score Sheet. Each student continues running laps until he or she chooses to stop.
All students will be tested again this semester in order for the results to be compared to the first test. The goal is to see an overall increase in student lap totals. The 20 meter PACER test was created by Fitnessgram, which is part of the Cooper Institute.
The Physical Education teachers utilize IPads and a speaker system to administer the test as an audio voice-over announces each lap in the test and signifies the beginning of each faster level. The test is also set to background music to enhance student engagement.