The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) expanded its Science of Baseball curriculum through an additional $87,940 grant to Science of Sport (SOS). The LADF previously announced more than $1.1 million in grants had been donated to local nonprofit organizations through July.
The Foundation’s Science of Baseball program provides hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum to elementary and middle school teachers and students in the Los Angeles area.
“Baseball is an incredible textbook and this curriculum brings the game to life,” LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman said. “This is one of our most significant investments in STEM through our grantmaking program.
“We believe that in order to improve diversity in STEM professions, it is crucial that we go into the most underserved and diverse communities of Los Angeles to educate our young people and spark curiosity in these subjects.”
The grant will impact over 6,000 students and 60 teachers by utilizing baseball examples to improve student interest and performance in STEM.
The LADF Science of Baseball curriculum launched in the Inglewood Unified School District in 2018 and trained 22 teachers to implement the curriculum in third to fifth grade classrooms.
As part of LADF’s continued commitment to STEM funding, the new grant will support the Science of Baseball Curriculum expansion for sixth to eighth grades and continue to be implemented in the Inglewood Unified School District for the 2019-20 school year and soon expand to additional districts.
The grant to Science of Sport will also include teacher trainings for faculty from Inglewood Unified School District and additional school districts. It will include the development of 60 kits to be used in classrooms and provide a web portal for teachers to access supplementary materials such as videos, photos, worksheets and baseball data sources to teach the lessons.
“This grant will allow us to broaden the impact of the Dodgers Foundation Science of Baseball program to more students, teachers, and schools in Los Angeles,” said Dr. Ricardo Valerdi, founder and chief scientist of Science of Sport.
“The objective is the same: to leverage the love of sports to make math and science even more fun and engaging by teaching students about home runs, base running, batting averages, and nutrition.”
Also included in the curriculum is a planning packet with four Dodgers-themed projects and a culminating STEM Showcase/Field Trip hosted at Dodger Stadium.
SOS and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation additionally created a traveling Science of Baseball pop-up exhibit that will be featured at various community events. The exhibit features interactive activities that focus on the Science of Baseball program.
Later this year, the LADF will break ground on its newest Dodgers Dreamfield at Gonzales Park in the city of Compton, which will infuse the Science of Baseball and incorporate elements of STEM throughout the project.