New Student Competition Blends STEM Curriculum and Baseball

New Student Competition Blends STEM Curriculum and Baseball

Alyson Powell
August 25, 2016
Over 100 Metro Atlanta students, teachers and community volunteers will be the first to participate in a new competition starting this Fall that combines STEM education and baseball.

IPaT, along with the Atlanta Braves, STEM@GTRI and the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) are sponsoring the Braves STEM Competition, which will span the 2016-17 school year. Students from five Cobb County middle schools and five Atlanta public schools will use their science and engineering skills to build baseball launching devices. The competition also includes supporting activities developed by GTRI and CEISMC to extend learning beyond building the device.

“We are excited to work with the Braves and these participating schools this year," said Leigh McCook, IPaT Deputy Director. "We see this as a fantastic opportunity to partner with the Braves to showcase how STEM is integral to our lives both in work and play. “

STEM@GTRI researchers are currently putting the finishing touches on the launcher kits, which were designed and developed for an 8th grade curriculum. Schools will receive the kits at no cost.

The competition officially kicks off on September 13th during the Braves’ series against the Miami Marlins. The STEM Day event at Turner Field will include a Makers Village, and the unveiling of the baseball launcher that student teams will be working on. Also next month, GTRI and CEISMC will host a development session for teachers to receive their kits and materials and discuss the competition.

“We are thrilled to host the Braves STEM Competition along with IPaT, STEM@GTRI and CEISMC,” said Greg Mize, Atlanta Braves Director of Digital Marketing. “We hope such a unique opportunity will inspire these students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields, and of course, we hope it produces another generation of Braves fans!”

The Atlanta Braves are the first professional sports team to enter into a research partnership with Georgia Tech. This partnership, fostered by IPaT, was announced at IPaT’s annual Industry Innovation Day held last April in Midtown Atlanta.

"We are very excited about this STEM competition, the first of many initiatives that are part of a long standing engagement with the Atlanta Braves that continues to define and promote research and innovation across a broad spectrum of interests for both the Braves and Georgia Tech,” said Siva Jayaraman, IPaT Strategic Partnerships Manager.

Teams will show off their launchers at the end of the school year, and the winning team will have the opportunity to attend a Braves game and be recognized in May 2017 during the Braves’ inaugural season at SunTrust Park.
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