Return to Headlines

Strategic Framework in Action: Interdisciplinary Courses

Innovative Instruction melds fitness, and nutrition into one class

When is the best time to eat carbs to optimize an athlete’s performance? How can a student supplement a lack of vitamin A? These health questions are just a few answered in the first few weeks of Stagg High School’s Fitness and Nutrition classes. An interdisciplinary class, Fitness & Nutrition is taught by members of the Family Consumer Science and Physical Education departments. 

Fitness and Nutrition is a classic example of an authentic learning experience that relates to Goal 1: Innovative instructional experiences that provides students real-world opportunities of the District 230 Strategic Framework. 

Students learn to analyze their fitness, nutrition and health risks. They incorporate hands-on laboratory experiences in food preparation, exercise, and health behavior management.

Nutrition teacher Jackie Brown says, “Linking nutrition and fitness together allows students to see how they play a role with one another. This is a hands-on class that applies what students learn to real-world skills they can take with them the rest of their lives.”

“I never knew how to properly defrost a chicken or understood that what I ate and when I ate it could affect how I play on the field,” said Stagg sophomore Ryan Rozak|.

For an entire week, students tracked everything they ate and every activity so they could assess their eating habits and determine if they were meeting their caloric and nutritional needs. Students saw firsthand the effect their activity level had on their calorie intake and they journaled about their nutritional results.

As part of the Strategic Framework process, District 230 is looking to increase alternative learning opportunities for students through expanded unique course offerings. 

Fitness teacher Tom Lally said, “Fitness & Nutrition is beneficial for students as an interdisciplinary subject because it allows students to see/understand how important the nutrition side of health truly is. In addition, it allows students to gain a holistic view of how eating smart and being active in a variety of fitness activities can truly enhance their overall quality of life.”

Students made ramen in the nutritional lab, learning to swap out the pre-packaged sodium-ridden seasoning packet with homemade broth, fresh vegetables and spices. “The ramen was awesome. I plan to make it at home,” said Stagg sophomore Beatriz Merida.