An oversized wooden compass sits on the dusty baseball field. Three students stand next to it, holding a giant yellow slingshot pulled taut. The girl in the middle leans back, gaining traction, and releases, launching a tennis ball across the field at a perfect 45-degree angle.
They were among a dozen students from Mansfeld Magnet Middle School who took the field on Saturday, measuring ball trajectory and pitch velocity in a Science of Baseball camp.
Ricardo Valerdi, a professor in the University of Arizona Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering, started the camp three years ago.
Launched in 2013, the Arizona Diamondbacks Science of Baseball presented by Chase and Insight, is a series of programs and initiatives that promote the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The program provides a mechanism for elementary and middle school students to improve their academic performance. The goal is to translate the American love of baseball into an appreciation, understanding, and passion of the science and mathematics underlying the sport.
This season-long program aims to engage and empower students with a university research-based curriculum, designed with College Professor and STEM Expert Ricardo Valerdi. To date, more than 50,000 students, 500 teachers, and 300 schools have participated in the program.
The Arizona Diamondbacks provide free Science of Baseball teacher training sessions throughout the year. Teachers learn best practices on how to implement the program in their classroom. Teachers are also provided with the Arizona Diamondbacks Science of Baseball curriculum booklet and a supply kit. If you are interested in attending a teacher workshop register here.
The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, Chase, and Insight provide Science of Baseball day camps throughout the year to non-profit kids’ organizations. Camps include classroom lessons and on-field activities. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The D-backs Science of Baseball STEM Showcase presented by Chase and Insight will take place on September 22 during the D-backs vs. Miami Marlins game. The annual event looks to build upon the success of the 2016 STEM Showcase that featured over 40 participants showcasing STEM projects and initiatives throughout the ballpark.
The Arizona Diamondbacks host STEM Field Trip Days which allow students to engage in STEM related activities throughout the ballpark. STEM Field Trip Days also have educational programming highlighted by our D-backs Science of Baseball Show that teaches the math and science behind baseball.
As an additional benefit, each student/teacher/chaperone in attendance will receive TWO TICKETS to attend a future D-backs home game. Tickets will be mailed to your school after the field trip. For more information visit dbacks.com/education.