About The Cool School

The Cool School is a project that started in 2004 when Goran Beskow and Jesper Svensson came up with an idea of how to easily identify the health status of people. They took this idea and presented it to Folkhälsocentrum in Oskarshamn and chief physician Lennart Hellstrom. There was already a group of representatives from schools and student health present. Joep Perk, a professor of health sciences got involved and decided to make the Cool School, also known as ”Vallhallaprojektet”, a research project. Now there is a validated analyse-model called "H-Ray". Research results have been published, and development continues.

H-ray, or Höntgen in Swedish, is a web-based instrument where students respond to questions and receive immediate feedback at the end of the test. The test measures both lifestyle habits and knowledge of diet, exercise and drugs.
The moment a pupil submits a test, the teacher can see the results on a graph. The graph shows the exact distribution of skills and habits of her class and she can then follow the class development over the years on a trend graph. The model is primarily developed for school children grades 6-9 and also measure the student's fitness level based on step test results.

H-Ray has been tested over more than five years in Åbyskolan in Gamleby and Vallhallaskolan in Oskarshamn during which it was constantly developed and adapted. Before the first "real" version was released on the 20th of August 2009 it had been validated on over 300 students. The idea of H-Ray was that it would develop in a computergame-like fashion to make it interesting for the student to perform the test. This process is constantly evolving to meet contemporary trends and demands.

Over the years there has been a long and continuous discussion about how the work should be built around H-Ray. We have always agreed that there must be an interesting and natural meeting place for both students and teachers, but in which way has not been as easy to answer. There has been many ideas and for some time it looked like the Cool School would become purely an online magazine, and for a period of time it was moving in an interactive learning space direction, where students could walk around in a "Sims"-like environment and develop both their health and their knowledge.

In the end we agreed that the Cool School should be a safe community that only students and teachers have access to. The reason for this is that parents can feel confident that their children stay in a safe environment on the Internet. The Cool School is now an ever-expanding knowledge base of health promotion tools. This site is also a platform for discussion, both among students and between teachers where they can support and assist each other in efforts to make the school a better place to work and a better learning environment for students.

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