College Football Playoff Foundation, the Sun Belt Conference and Science of Sport partner together for STEM Innitiative


College Football Playoff Foundation Partners With Sun Belt Conference To Implement Innovative Program


October 24, 2017

CONTACT: Gina Lehe, 469-262-5200

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IRVING, Texas – The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation has partnered with the Sun Belt Conference to offer New Orleans teachers the opportunity to participate in the Science of Sport education program. This initiative aims to provide teachers with a professional development opportunity to connect science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and sports with the goal of generating a fresh way to present STEM to their students.


Through its Extra Yard for Teachers platform, the CFP Foundation has committed $150,000 towards the initiative. In all, the program will include three Science of Sport training sessions centered around football, basketball and baseball, which have been tailored to meet Louisiana’s state academic standards. In addition to the training, each teacher will receive a classroom kit to aid in educating their students.


“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Sun Belt Conference and Science of Sport,” said CFP Foundation Executive Director Britton Banowsky. “Teaching STEM lessons through sport is an innovative way to educate, and we are excited so many teachers will have the opportunity to learn this approach.”


During the 2017-18 academic year, the goals of the program are to improve teacher effectiveness in teaching STEM by utilizing sport examples and to improve student interest and performance through hands-on learning. The measured impact is expected to reach 360 teachers and approximately 18,000 students.


“The College Football Playoff Foundation is helping us to provide what will be a really cool experience for teachers,” said Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson. “This is going to be a lot of fun for them, but ultimately it is the students who will get the most fun out of it. Integrating sports in the classroom will get students further engaged with STEM materials and the outcome will be beneficial to their learning experience.”


The first Science of Sport session, featuring football-centric instructional materials, took place in September. The next two training sessions are set to take place in Spring 2018.


About the College Football Playoff Foundation and Extra Yard for Teachers

The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation is the charitable arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers through the implementation of programs in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes.


About the Sun Belt Conference

The Sun Belt Conference continues to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in competition. The 2016-17 athletic season showed that the Sun Belt Conference takes a back seat to no other league in its competitive balance and in proving itself deserving of its status as a member of the NCAA’s highest conference tier. Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy will give the league 10 football members and enable the Sun Belt to inaugurate divisional football play and stage a conference championship game in 2018. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in all sports other than football.


Atlanta Braves Science of Baseball Program, presented by Xfinity

The Atlanta Braves Science of Baseball program, presented by Xfinity provides hands-on STEM curriculum and programming to 6th-8th grade level teachers and students in Georgia.

Increase student awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields as a future education and career option.
Motivate students to excel despite obstacles
Provide a measurable opportunity for individual transformation
Establish a framework for sustainable change.


Program Details:

  • Development of the Braves Science of Baseball curriculum for 6th – 8th grade levels which included 15 lessons that focused on different STEM concepts.
  • Hosted a Braves Science of Baseball teacher training for 25 teachers from Cobb County School District.
  • Provided a Braves Science of Baseball kit for every teacher.
  • Developed a web portal that included all of the lessons, worksheets and additional resources for teachers to use in the classroom.
  • Developed a planning packet that included 4 Braves themed projects.
  • Supported the student showcase in which schools attended a Braves game to discuss projects on the concourse.
  • Provided an evaluation and assessment for those teachers who attended the workshop.


Through the support from Comcast and the Atlanta Braves we were able to have the following impact through the Braves Science of Baseball Program:

  • 4,000 students were impacted from the Braves Science of Baseball Program
  • 25 teachers attended the workshop
  • 8 schools from Cobb County School District participated in the program


Cobb County School District participating Schools:

  • Dickerson Middle School
  • Mabry Middle School
  • Dodgen Middle School
  • Griffin Middle School
  • Lost Mountain Middle School
  • Gooden Middle School
  • McClure Middle School
  • Simpson Middle School

Teacher Workshop – March 14, 2017:

This unique professional development opportunity provided teachers with a hands-on Braves Science of Baseball curriculum and all of the materials and classroom kits needed to implement this interactive curriculum into their classroom. A big thank you to Braves and Comcast for making this opportunity available to Cobb County teachers.

Braves Science of Baseball Teacher Survey Results – Sept 2017



STEM Showcase – May 20th, 2017:

Schools that participated in the teacher workshop from Cobb County had the opportunity to attend the Braves game on May 20th to display the projects they had been working on over the past two months. During that two month period, Atlanta Braves representatives and players were able to visit the schools to see the implementation of the Braves Science of Baseball program.


PR Links:

Curriculum Contents:

Lesson 1 – Baseball Positions

Lesson 2 – Strike Zone

Lesson 3 – Baseball Statistics

Lesson 4 – Baseball Field Geometry

Lesson 5 – Bat Chooser

Lesson 6 – Physiology

Lesson 7 – Batter Reaction Time

Lesson 8 – Field Percentage

Lesson 9 – Launch Angle

Lesson 10 – Elasticity

Lesson 11 – Base Running

Lesson 12 – Aerodynamics

Lesson 13 – Sports Vision

Lesson 14 – Nutrition for Peak Performance

Lesson 15 – Baseball Versus Other Sports

Student Projects:

Option 1 – Which Ball Bounces Higher

Option 2 – Optimal Angle for a Home Run

Option 3 – Base Running and Angular Momentum

Option 4 – Baseball Pendulum