Non-profit organization Science of Sport collaborated with six Los Angeles pro sports franchises to host the first annual Inglewood STEM Fest. The event was for kids from kindergarten to sixth grade.
The youth got to play different sports and learn lessons related to STEM at different interactive stations in Edward Vincent park. The purpose of Inglewood STEM fest is to expose them to “opportunities in the STEM workforce,” according to Science of Sport program development consultant Ashley Dean.
“It was a really fun way to engage with the students and the youth as well as their family because it is a family-focused event,” Dean said. “All the participants stayed really active and engaged and they were able to free flow around the two fields.”
The pro teams had their own stations where they used their respective sport, the Dodgers station has a wiffle ball machine that shot out balls, the Lakers station had a basketball hoop. Children ran with parachutes on their backs at the 40-yard dash station.
“You’re having somebody talking to you about the science behind whether it’s the movements that you’re doing or the activities that you’re taking a part in,” said Rams data and analytics manager Jake Temme. “Just continuing to lay the foundation of the physical movement, it has it’s genesis, it has physics, science, math.”
During the STEM Fest, there was also a panel discussion with professionals with jobs related to STEM; Temme was one of the panelists. The goal was to expose children to different work opportunities in STEM.
“I’m getting resumes, I’m not seeing enough minority candidates, not seeing enough female applications,” Temme said. “Being able to connect with younger people that are in different demographics than that typically come out of the STEM space, I think it’s super exciting.”
Temme’s message to the youth at the event is that they do not need to know how to play football I order to work in the NFL. Temme loved sports growing up, but never played football; he ultimately became a computer science major.
“Continue to pursue your goals and know that there’s nothing blocking you from achieving whatever you want in the STEM space,” he said.
His first role with the Rams was to build their scouting system. Since then, he has worked with scouting, coaching, and performance.
Science of Sports was founded in 2014, creating a curriculum just for baseball. Since then, the organization has created curriculum and programming for 12 different sports. They also work with different school districts to teach their curriculum to teachers.
“We partner not only here in Los Angeles, but we partner with over 35 sports organizations across the country,” Dean said. “We get to go into underserved communities and school districts and bring our curriculum and programming to life.”