Rowing STEM Curriculum

TYRA-Rowing-Stem (002) header

The following is the complete Rowing STEM curriculum that is used by the Tulsa Youth Rowing Association as part of their gROW Tulsa outreach efforts. We provide permission for use by any club or organization that wishes to use it and respectfully request any feedback about your experience so that we may improve the curriculum as it stands. Thank you!

RowingSTEM for iOS can be downloaded here (the app that helps to deliver some of this curriculum)

RowingSTEM for Android (BETA) can be downloaded here (the app that helps to deliver some of this curriculum)

Download these resources in one file here.

Rowing STEM Curriculum

Week-Long Example Of RowingSTEM Activities 

This curriculum is an example of how the Rowing STEM activities can be used in a sequence for a week-long summer camp (for example).

Concepts covered: RowingSTEM Scope and Sequence.

Assessment Of Rowing Technique For Youth

A competency-based rubric for assessing the development of technical improvement in youth rowers. Permission was granted to gROW Tulsa by Dr. Baghurst and Dr. Fink to use this assessment in our program/app.

Concepts covered: Rowing technique assessment.

High School Experiments

Investigating Force Curves (using the Rowing STEM app)

Students learn about the force curve during a rowing stroke. Students make calculations of the area under the curve in order to calculate the impulse in some sample force curves and then progress to analyzing their own force curves using data from the Rowing STEM app.

Concepts covered: Data analysis, graphing, impulse, force, time.

Investigating Force Curves

Students learn about the force curve during a rowing stroke. Students make calculations of the area under the curve in order to calculate the impulse in some sample force curves and then progress to analyzing their own force curves. This activity can be completed without the use of the Rowing STEM app.

Concepts covered: Data analysis, impulse, force, time.

20 Minute Experiments You Can Do With RowingSTEM

This series of activities provide four quick 20 minute experiments where students can collect data from the rowing machine using RowingSTEM for iOS and then use the data analysis screen to plot graphs to help students understand the following concepts:

  1. Distance vs Time Graphs 

Concepts covered: Graphing, speed, slope (rate of change)

  1. Accuracy vs Precision

Concepts covered: Data Accuracy, data precision

  1. Stroke Length and Power

 Concepts covered: Linear relationships, graphing, data analysis.

  1. Power and Pace

Concepts covered: Inversely proportional relationships.

Scatterplots and Rowing Consistency

Students collect data using Rowing STEM at different stroke rates and then download their data as a CSV from the app and then upload the data to Google Sheets and are led through a graph creation process. Students use the R2 value to derive a data point for a correlation between two variables.

Middle School Experiments

Team Building 

Students participate in an activity where they decide the values that their rowing club will embody. 

Concepts covered: Teambuilding, trust, and growth mindset.

4-Minute Row Lab

Students row for 4 minutes as fast as possible, then graph their power each stroke versus time. Students can also optionally wear a heart rate monitor to record their heart rate over the course of the row. If this lab is repeated at a later date, a student can compare both datasets to make conclusions on if their performance is improving.

Concepts covered: Physiology, graphing, power, data analysis.

Accuracy Versus Precision

Students participate in an activity that teaches them the definitions and differences between accuracy and precision. Students finish the activity by playing the rowing darts game on the Concept2 rowing machine.

Concepts covered: Accuracy, precision, consistency of rowing.

Distance and Time Graphs

Students row on the concept2 machine using the Rowing STEM app to generate their own distance vs time graphs. Students have the option to draw their own graphs or capture the data using RowingSTEM to generate the graph. Students learn that the degree of slope of their graph relates to the speed they are rowing. 

Concepts covered: Graphing, data analysis, speed, slope, average speed, distance vs time graphs

Distance and Time Graphs (Version 2.0) – A revised version of the lab above.

Students row on the concept2 machine using the RowingSTEM app to generate their own distance vs time graphs. Students have the option to draw their own graphs or capture the data using RowingSTEM to generate the graph. Students learn that the degree of slope of their graph relates to the speed they are rowing. Students perform calculations to calculate their average speed for different sections of their rowing.

Concepts covered: Graphing, data analysis, speed, slope, average speed, distance vs time graphs.

Rowing Golf

A fun activity where students row to complete different distances and try to get their distance meters to stop at a specific point. 

Concepts covered: Data collection.

Max Power Pulls

Students try to generate as much power as possible in a ten-stroke section of strokes. Students then graph and average their efforts.

Concepts covered: Power, graphing, and data analysis.

Physiology, Technique and Growth Mindset Activity

Students create a journal graph charting the data they generate during a 4-minute row every three weeks and record their results on the same graph. Students reflect on their process during their time rowing and help to reinforce or develop a gROW mindset. 

Concepts covered: Internal mindset, graphing, self-reflection.

The Science Of Power and Stroke Rate

Students row a series of one-minute efforts and record their average power using the PM monitor. They compare their power output to different types of electrical devices that you might find around the house and see which devices they might be able to power with their present rowing. Students graph their results and answer questions to reflect on their experiences.

Concepts covered: Power, watts, graphing, data analysis.

The Science Of Power and Stroke Rate (Almost the same as the activity above, but uses the RowingSTEM app – What Can You Power Game?)

Students row a series of one-minute efforts and record their average power using the PM monitor. They compare their power output to different types of electrical devices that you might find around the house and see which devices they might be able to power with their present rowing. Students graph their results and answer questions to reflect on their experiences.

Concepts covered: Power, watts, graphing, data analysis.

Rowing with Rhythm and Control and Learning About Percentage

Students learn about the performance monitor and then perform a series of rows trying to keep the stroke rate within a specific range. Students then use a formula to calculate the percentage of strokes that were rowed within a specific range. 

Concepts covered: Percentage, algebra, consistency of rowing.

Virtual Rowing Around Downtown Tulsa

Students participate in an exercise involving map reading and geography. Students measure distances on a map and calculate the distance that they must row after performing mathematical conversions. Students also look at the unit of the calorie and perform a calculation to discover how far they need to row to burn the calories for a cupcake.

Concepts covered: Map reading, mathematical conversions (dimensional analysis).

What Is Your Range Of Mobility?

Students choose partners and use goniometers to measure their range of mobility before and after a stretching routine. Students log their range of movement over time and create a data journal to chart improvement.

Concepts covered: Simple geometry, data collection. 

Primary School 

2000m Math Countdown

Students participate in a relay to row 2000m on the rowing machine. Students must calculate answers to math problems to find out how far they must row for their particular leg of the relay.

Concepts covered: Teamwork, math calculations.

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