Zamzee’s First Day at School
October 5, 2011
Zamzee went back to school in September, unrolling their first school pilot program to over 600 students at Cupertino’s Kennedy Middle School (above). We left our lunchboxes and pencils, but we brought something better: the opportunity for 200 6th, 7th and 8th graders to get a Zamzee for themselves, plus the element of free invites for friends that we hoped would help Zamzee “go viral”.
Zamzee is a platform for fun that’s powered by young people’s movement. Wear the nifty 3-axis accelerometer to record how much you’re moving around, and upload your Pointz to the computer to track your progress, compete with friends, and complete challenges. Zamzee was researched and developed by HopeLab, then spun-off and run as an independent social enterprise at zamzee.com.
But do middle schoolers actually want it? After preparing a slideshow to introduce Zamzee to the students, and a competitive “move-off” to show them how it’s done, we were still not sure whether Zamzee would fly in a school gymnasium.
But these remarkable middle schoolers did not disappoint: they eagerly volunteered for the move-off—dancing, running, and even doing flips to see who could earn the most Activity Pointz. They listened avidly and asked specific questions (“Is it waterproof?” “Does it have a warranty?” “Will it work for spinning on ice skates?”). They even jumped out of their seats, making us feel like rock stars being surged by a crowd. In short, Zamzee soared.
In the two weeks since then, our 200 Kennedy Middle School users have put in over 27,000 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, racked up over 161,000 Activity Pointz and inviting 247 of their friends to join them. In fact, we’re so impressed that we plan on taking Zamzee on the road to more schools soon. We hope Zamzee continues to get straight A’s from the users who matter: real live young people!
Rose Garrett is content manager at Zamzee. She’s the one that writes the words that make using Zamzee fun and easy. She also makes sure that lots of good stuff is happening on zamzee.com. Rose has worked as a writer and editor in news, education and social enterprise. She’s super good at ping-pong.