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.