A group of wide-eyed children watched as a golf ball, baseball, softball and bowling ball are all released at the same time. Each had tried to predict which would drop faster and so they looked on with curiosity. What the group discovered were the results of a demonstration of physics first performed by Galileo—each object fell at the same rate.
The young sports fans were learning about the underlying science and math behind the game of baseball. The Chevron STEM Zone, designed to inspire youth interest in STEM subjects through hands-on learning, was showcased at a recent game between the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees in Oakland, Calif.
As a traveling demonstration stationed at different sporting events across California, this most recent Chevron STEM Zone, launched in partnership with the Oakland A's and the San Francisco Exploratorium, featured interactive learning stations exploring the physics, biology, and mathematics behind our national pastime. The STEM Zone provides a hands-on experience at the vibration of a bat and its "sweet spot," the aerodynamics of the curveball and knuckleball, gravity and parabolic arcs, and a player's biological reaction time. Baseball players—whether pros or kids in their backyard—are intuitive scientists and those who excel at the sport know how to use this to their advantage.