You can’t have a Dodgers’ game without science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). On April 19, 2023, students from Ánimo Compton Charter School and Ánimo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School—two Green Dot Public Schools California Community Schools—enjoyed a Dodgers STEM Day event and a game of baseball at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers STEM Day began in 2019 with just 500 elementary students from a local school district. The program, hosted by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and the non-profit, Science of Sport, has now grown to give thousands of students the chance to explore the connection between sports and STEM. Executive Director of Science of Sport, Daren Heaton, believes creating a link between athletics and academics helps students discover the importance of STEM in everyday activities. “It helps [students] understand that they can use something that they love. Whether it be baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, or gymnastics, there's so much math and science that's tied into it,” he said.
Students had the opportunity to delve into the science of the strike zone, field geometry, and launch angles through various activities. Christian Velazquez, seventh grade student at Ánimo James B. Taylor, learned about curves and aerodynamics at a STEM station, all while being at the home of his favorite baseball team. Ánimo Compton sophomores, Anthony Discipulo and Paola Adam, saw the day as not just a field trip, but also as a moment to create stronger connections with their classmates.
Julio Munguia, the community schools coordinator for Ánimo Compton, recognizes the far-reaching benefits of expanded learning in community schools programs. “My goal is to create diverse opportunities of learning for all students, teachers, and staff. By having our school attend the Dodgers STEM Day, students had the opportunity to learn that science is everywhere. Above all, students experienced a social setting that leads to better overall academic outcomes. These experiences create memorable connections between students and teachers that ultimately also build community.”
Dodgers STEM Day was a homerun for STEM learning beyond the classroom. At Green Dot California, we are invested in our community schools’ work to provide comprehensive resources to students and families. We look forward to continuing to engage with the community schools grant and can’t wait to see where it takes our scholars next.