Dodgers Baseball Operations Team hosts “Dugout Chats” to share STEM careers
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF), in partnership with Science of Sport, announced today the distribution of 100 at-home Science of Baseball Kits to support students from Tibby Elementary School in the Compton Unified School District, and the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) and Boys Academic Leadership Academy (BALA), which are the first only all-girls and all-boys public STEM academies in all of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the state of California. To support the demands on teachers with distance learning and the need to provide STEM resources, LADF and Science of Sport are providing monthly teacher trainings and classroom visits, “Dugout Chats,” from the Dodgers’ Baseball Operations team focused on careers in STEM.
The Science of Baseball kits include baseball, math, and science equipment that match the lessons in the curriculum and virtual teacher training. Items range from protractors and mini baseball launchers to reinforce trajectory of flight of objects, to a tape measure for broad jump that reinforces unit conversion, painters’ tape to build their own strike zone and to build their own field and a STEM activity booklet with additional activities for students to do at home.
“As many schools remain in remote learning, students have limited resources and are suffering a ‘pandemic learning loss’ especially in STEM subjects due to the lack of hands-on opportunities, class trips, and visitors into the classroom,” said Chaitali Gala Mehta, COO of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. “Hands-on engagement is critical to STEM curiosity for youth. With our new at-home science kits, we are working to address this disproportionate impact for Black, Latino, and female students by partnering with schools in communities that need it most.”
“The Science of Baseball curriculum, thanks to the Dodgers Foundation, is designed to bring math and science to life through baseball. Teachers have been looking for ways to engage with their students while teaching remotely, and this program focuses on providing them with the necessary resources to do just that,” said Ricardo Valerdi, Chief Scientist for Science of Sport. “Through a series of virtual teacher workshops, we can provide guidance on how to use the different lessons and STEM kits with their class. The students get to calculate Jackie Robinson’s batting average, analyze the geometry of Dodger Stadium, and learn about the sustainability initiatives at Dodger Stadium.”
On March 5th, members of the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Operations team joined the partner classrooms to share their real-life experience with STEM in their baseball careers. The new STEM series, called “Dugout Chats,” is helping bridge the gap from the curriculum to real-world applications. Students heard from Megan Schroeder, Director, Performance Science, David Hill, Senior Analyst, Performance Science, and Will Vandenburg, Biomechanical Quantitative Analyst. The “Dugout Chats” will continue throughout the semester and will give students the opportunity to engage with the Dodgers Performance Science team.
“It was great to be able to share our stories with this incredible group of students,” Megan Schroeder, Director of Performance Science for the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I hope that they were able to see that studying STEM in school can lead to some fun and exciting career opportunities. We are proud to bring these baseball concepts to life!”
LADF’s Science of Baseball curriculum, designed for 3rd-8th grades, utilizes baseball examples to improve student interest and performance in STEM. Prior to the pandemic, 90 teachers in LAUSD, Inglewood, and Compton Unified School Districts have been trained in this curriculum, impacting 9,000 students.