The Oakland Athletics and Chevron will host the Chevron STEM Zone, an exhibit that explores scientific concepts behind the game of baseball, on Saturday, Aug. 31 at the O.co Coliseum. Admission to the STEM Zone, located behind Section 217 outside the Bar & Grille, is free to fans with a ticket to that night's game vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.
The STEM Zone - STEM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering and math - is a component of "Science of the Game," a unique educational program initiated by Chevron and the A's that deepens interest and understanding of science among Bay Area youth through baseball. Through interactive experiences, students learn how the game of baseball works and the fundamental roles that gravity, acceleration and reaction time play. To see examples of these educational experiences, please visit http://www.chevron.com/countries/usa/chevronincalifornia/newsletter/volume9/stemZone/.
"Chevron believes that STEM education and an understanding of how the world works is critical to helping students succeed and prepare for the increasing number of technical jobs in the modern economy and particularly here in the Bay Area," said Russ Yarrow, manager of partnerships and events at Chevron. "By partnering with the Oakland A's to develop Science of the Game, we can help bring science to life and show kids its application in the real world."
Chevron began the concept of STEM Zones with its "Science of Golf" exhibits at Professional Golf Association tournaments. Applying similar lessons to baseball, Chevron and the A's are collaborating with local schools to use innovative lessons to teach science and math topics - such as aerodynamics, energy transference and acceleration.
In addition to the STEM Zone, the Science of the Game program includes other efforts to reinvigorate STEM education in the Bay Area. On May 17, Oakland A's infielder Eric Sogard and team mascot Stomper visited Stege Elementary School in Richmond to distribute Science of the Game workbooks and work through science problems with students. The A's have distributed more than 15,000 Science of the Game workbooks to Bay Area schools that utilize science formulas to answer questions related to various aspects of baseball. The three workbooks, targeting grades 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8, are also available at www.oaklandathletics.com/science. Students who complete their workbooks and submit their answer sheets to the A's receive two ticket vouchers to select A's home games.
"It's great being around the kids and seeing the smiles on their faces," Sogard said after his visit to Stege Elementary. "It's great to be able to share with them. I hope the [Science of the Game] will help them now or in the future."
In addition to Sogard's visit to the elementary school in Richmond, students from West Contra Costa County public schools including Chavez Elementary School, Helms Middle School, Kennedy High School, Lincoln Elementary School, Making Waves Academy, Peres Elementary School and Richmond High School have been selected to attend the Aug. 31 game and experience the STEM Zone.
"Educating all youth is vital to creating a future generation of critical thinkers ready to succeed in college and career, and become leaders and innovators," said Jennifer B. Lyle, chief of operations, Building Block for Kids Collaborative. "Opportunities like the STEM Zone experience are innovative ways to engage our Richmond youth and stimulate learning."
Chevron is partnering with the A's to engage kids in science education in the Bay Area as part of its California Partnership, an initiative to invest in economic development and education in its home state. Since 2009, Chevron has invested over $15 million to support STEM education programs that have reached more than 500,000 students and 6,700 teachers in California. As global energy demand increases, so too does the need to hire a technical workforce, elevating the importance of science, technology, engineering and math.
"Science of the Game," "Mathletics" and "Home Run Readers" programs put into action the Oakland A's commitment to supporting education in the Bay Area. The A's organization, in conjunction with the A's Community Fund, strives to make a positive impact in the Bay Area and Northern California. A's players, coaches and front office employees, together with fans and sponsors, are committed to meeting the social, cultural and educational demands in the community.