Sun Belt Science of Basketball funded by College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers Initiative and the Allstate Sugar Bowl

The Sun Belt Science of Basketball in partnership with the Allstate Sugar Bowl and College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative hosted over 1,000 students from the New Orleans area at a 4-day STEM Field Trip during the Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament from March 6th – March 9th.



To bring science, technology, engineering, and math to life through the love of basketball to the students of the New Orleans area and enrich their learning with engaging curriculum.

Program Details:

  • Improve teacher effectiveness in teaching STEM by utilizing sport examples and to improve student interest/performance in STEM through hands-on learning
  • Train local New Orleans Math, Science, and Physical Education teachers on the Sun Belt Science of Football, Basketball, and Baseball curriculum that uses hands-on learning opportunities through sports examples
  • Each teacher that participated in the professional development workshop received a 15 lesson plan curriculum that aligned with state standards, a kit that included all of the classroom and sporting equipment needed to implement the lessons in the classroom, dinner, and received professional development hours for attending the training
  • Start to build a community portal that provides teachers with the opportunity to share best practices that deliver materials and resources for long-term sustainability of the program
  • In addition to the teacher workshops, we were able to provide services directly to students whose teachers participated in the program through student camps and field trips. These student field trips were held prior to the Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament


Through the support from the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the Sun Belt Conference, we were able to have the following impact through the Sun Belt Science of Basketball program:

  • More than 30 teachers
  • More than 2,000 students
  • More than 25 schools have participated in the program

Field Trip Day Photos:

Over 1,000 students from schools throughout the New Orleans area came down to University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena during the Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament. Athletes from the University of Louisiana at Monroe Men’s Basketball team and the University of South Alabama Women’s Basketball team volunteered their morning off to help get the students excited about STEM through basketball.


Teacher Training Photos:

Sun Belt Science of Basketball hosted 20 teachers from the New Orleans area to come to University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena for a workshop where they each took home a full curriculum workbook and a kit of all the materials they need to implement Science of Basketball in their classrooms. They also got to stay for dinner and received tickets to the Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament games that evening.

During halftime at the last game of the evening, the teachers were brought to the court to be recognized for their great work in New Orleans.


Curriculum Content:

Lesson 1 – Jersey Numbers

Scholar athletes determine whether the jersey numbers of Sun Belt Conference players are prime, composite, or neither, and determine the prime factorization of the composite numbers.

Lesson 2 – Predict the Attendance

Scholar athletes predict the average attendance of Sun Belt Conference games.

Lesson 3 – Playing Time

Scholar athletes add fractions with unlike denominators using playing times of women’s college basketball players.

Lesson 4 – All-Time Best Free Throw Shooters

Scholar athletes compute and analyze free throw percentages of the all-time most accurate free throw shooters.

Lesson 5 – Shooting Percentages

Scholar athletes calculate the shooting percentages, then calculate their own shooting percentages, from different distances.

Lesson 6 – Average Points Per Game

Scholar athletes make calculations based on points, games played, and points per game.

Lesson 7 – Geometry of a Basketball Court

Scholar athletes calculate the perimeter and area using dimensions of an NCAA basketball court, and outline a basketball court in a classroom using proportional reasoning.

Lesson 8 – Basketball Air Pressure

Scholar athletes measure the effect that changes in air pressure have on the bounce of a basketball.

Lesson 9 – Height, Weight, and Wingspan

Scholar athletes create a scatterplot based on the height and weight of Sun Belt Conference players, then create a scatterplot based on student heights vs. wingspans.

Lesson 10 – Nutrition

Scholar athletes will learn the basic food groups and the relationship between a healthy diet and athletic performance, as well as how to read food labels and identify daily values for various food components such as fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, fiber, sodium, protein, etc.

Lesson 11 – Heart Rate

Scholar athletes measure and compare their resting and exercise-related heart rates.

Lesson 12 – Plus/Minus Statistic

Scholar athletes rank order Sun Belt Conference players by their Box Plus/Minus (BPM).

Lesson 13 – Wins and Losses

Scholar athletes represent the wins and losses of the 2016-17 Sun Belt Conference men’s and women’s basketball teams on a bar graph.

Lesson 14 – Sun Belt Conference School Enrollment and Basketball Team Wins

Scholar athletes compare the enrollments of Sun Belt Conference schools to the number of wins by their men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Lesson 15 – Design an Arena

Scholar athletes design a basketball arena.