LAKELAND, Fla. — Students at Florida Polytechnic University are getting lessons in the ways of the Force, and getting some physical activity while they're at it.

  • Club meets twice a week
  • More than 40 students have joined
  • "Force Institute" teaching old lessons in a new way

Twice a week, students who have joined "The Force Institute" at the school trade in their laptops for lightsabers, and practice their Jedi swordsmanship as a way to relieve stress.

The idea for the club is the brainchild of one of their instructors. 

“This is Florida Polytechnic. We’re about science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and we’re not going to have a baseball team,” said cyber gaming and media lab engineer Constantine Stephanakos, “We might get a quidditch team, that might come, but essentially I was trying to think of a way to engage the students to be more physically active.”

More than 40 students have joined the club and they say the exercise is helpful in many ways. 

“(I’m) pulling everything away from real life, focusing it all on what you’re about to do, said junior Celeste Ramirez, “which is helpful in pretty much everything else that you do.”

Jedi Master Richard Ganey says “The Force Institute” takes a cue from "Star Wars" by teaching old lessons in a new way.

“No one really wants to be a samurai, but everybody wants to be a Jedi.”, said Ganey, “All of the lessons that you would typically learn in a traditional school, now are being presented with a culturally connected theme behind it.”