Sport tapped for STEM boost
A major football club has joined a program to encourage more kids into STEM subjects.
The Adelaide Crows have entered a partnership with the University of South Australia for the STEMfooty program, which is designed to address the significant growth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs and the continued decline in student engagement – both at school and university level – in STEM subjects.
The program will allow students to explore STEM concepts through both experiential and traditional academic approaches, providing links to real world and broadly appealing applications.
As part of the program, students will explore concepts such as statistics, aerodynamics, area and reaction time - major aspects of the club’s high-performance football program.
Associate Professor of STEM Education at UniSA Simon Leonard said the program would demonstrate the natural connection between sport, science and mathematics.
“Something we have found in helping kids to succeed in STEM is the importance of identity. Too often kids label themselves saying ‘I’m not a maths person’ or ‘I’m not a science person’. Programs like this can help kids to identify with STEM and see it as a significant part of their lives,” Professor Leonard said.
STEMfooty is based on a program that has succeeded in the USA across different sports and as a result has taught thousands of students.
The program will be piloted with middle and senior school students from two South Australian schools and through the Crows Academies Elite Talent Squad programs (male and female) at the Adelaide Football Club in October.