When I started my internship researching the relationship between STEM and sports, I had a concrete base of sports knowledge but was not as confident in my understanding of STEM subjects. As I read about STEM and realized how prevalent it will be in the coming years, I wanted to discover how sports can support the growing future of STEM.
I thought the best way to understand the connection between STEM and sports was to get my own hands-on experience. The STEM Sports Kits curriculum allowed me to do just that! Since I grew up playing basketball and always loved the sport, I chose the STEM Sports® Basketball Kit curriculum.
When it came time to take the pre-assessments, I was overconfident because I was far older and more educated than the target demographic of the K-8 curriculum, but I also worried since these were topics I hadn’t covered in years.
After opening the first assessment, I racked my brain for all the topics I learned in elementary school classes. Much to my surprise (and rescue), all the questions were given in the context of basketball.
I was able to answer STEM questions based on my prior basketball knowledge. The connection to sports was what gave me the edge I needed to answer questions on topics that I thought I had long forgotten.
Why connect STEM and sports?
That was when I had my eureka moment. I was able to recall STEM concepts when the questions related to real-world applications found in basketball. This experience affirmed my support of engaging children in STEM through exposure to sports. According to research done by Livestrong, 69% of girls and 75% of boys participate in sports. With STEM Sports® making the connection between sports and STEM, it allows kids to learn in a way that is engaging and interesting to them.
Modules that Matter
STEM Sports® offers modules that focus on teaching the science behind sports through hands-on methods. Currently, they offer ten modules: STEM Basketball, STEM Football, STEM Volleyball, STEM Soccer, STEM Golf, STEM Lacrosse, STEM Tennis, STEM Baseball, STEM Softball and STEM Multi-Sport. The wide array of supplemental curriculum options allows educators to find the sport that is most interesting to their students. By connecting STEM to something students like to do, teachers get the opportunity to reach students that may not otherwise be interested in science, technology, engineering or math.
An educator’s job is to cater to the learning style of an array of different students. In a traditional classroom setting right-brained learners many not be initially drawn to STEM materials. However, if the subject matter is approached with hands-on methods, these children may find that learning STEM may be as fun and easy as a layup.
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