My name is Lauren Chiangpradit and I have been the blog post writer for STEM Sports® since I began my internship here in January 2019. I am a junior sports journalism major at Arizona State University. Coming into this internship I had a concrete base of sports knowledge but was not as confident in my understanding of STEM. I did a lot of research early on and throughout the weeks in order to produce insightful and accurate blog posts on different STEM topics.
The more I read into STEM and see how prevalent STEM is going to be in the coming years, the more I want to learn. My interest in STEM came as shock to me since I have always been more interested in writing than math or science. But, after two months of working at STEM Sports® and explaining the importance of STEM to other people, I finally decided to try out the STEM curriculum for myself.
When it came time to take the pre-assessments I was torn between overconfidence because I was far beyond the target demographic of the K-8 curriculum and fear of embarrassment since these were topics I hadn’t done in years. When I opened up the first assessment, I started racking my brain for all the topics I learned in elementary school classes.
Much to my surprise (and rescue) all of the questions were given in the context of basketball. I grew up playing basketball and have always had a love for the sport. I was able to answer these STEM questions based on my prior knowledge about the game of basketball. The connection to sports was what gave me the edge I needed to answer questions on topics that I thought I had long forgotten.
That was when I had my eureka moment. Sports were my way of understanding STEM. This experience further affirmed my support in the STEM Sports® concept. According to research done by Livestrong, 69 percent of girls and 75 percent of boys participate in sports. These high numbers mean that a majority of children enjoy playing some sport.
With STEM Sports® making the connection between sports and STEM, it allows kids to learn in a way that is engaging and interesting to them. Each module focuses on teaching the science behind the sport through doing not seeing. I was able to comprehend these topics because of basketball and it is safe to assume I will not be the only one.
An educator’s job is to cater to the learning style of an array of different students. Right brain learners may not be initially drawn to STEM material in a traditional classroom setting. However, if the subject matter is approached in a more hands-on way, these children may find that they love STEM and the ease in learning may very well be as easy as a layup.