Science Meets Sports

How do you throw the perfect curveball? Why does a football need to spin when it’s thrown? What do momentum and center of mass have to do with athletic ability? You don’t have to be a sports enthusiast to understand that the science behind physical fitness, nutrition, and even athletic equipment mechanics can be a valuable teaching tool.

Giving students that extra push toward sports-related careers and the science behind the games is the focus of the new Art and Science Sports exhibit at Valdosta State University.

As part of the university’s emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) education, the center is combing learning and fun to show how science is part of sports and everyday life activities.

“We are suggesting fourth-grade students and up for the field trips,” says Dr. Brian Gerber, VSU STEAM Center Director. “Our goal is for the students to leave with a greater appreciation for the science that takes place in their everyday life.”

Careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are growing faster than in other jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM employment is expected to grow 8% by 2029, compared with 3.7% for all other occupations.

Gerber wants students to think about sports-related careers beyond field and court.

“Hopefully, they will come away with a greater appreciation and curiosity about sports jobs beyond being a professional athlete,” he says. “There are hundreds of careers like being a sportswriter or photographer, physical therapist, sports medicine, and management.”

Admission to the exhibit is free and open for school field trips by reservation. The exhibit is open to the public Thursday through Saturday.



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