Major League Math: Sports Management Program Director Ricardo Valerdi Employs Baseball to Create Academic Heavy Hitters

Major League Math: Sports Management Program Director Ricardo Valerdi Employs Baseball to Create Academic Heavy Hitters
August 30, 2017

By Adrienne Mand Lewin

The students at Mabry Middle School in Marietta, Georgia, run the bases of a baseball diamond as fast as they can. Some dash in a straight line between bases, while others do a "banana path" or a curved arc all around. The goal is to determine if the shortest difference between two points is the fastest by calculating and analyzing the difference between straight-line and circular-running paths. The straight path averages a speed of 12 feet per second, while the circular one averages 15 feet per second thanks to runners not pausing on bases and losing momentum. So while the distance is longer, the banana path is faster.

As they were outside playing rather than sitting in a classroom, these kids also learned and applied math concepts thanks to the Science of Baseball program and its local partner, the MLB's Atlanta Braves. Part of the Science of Sport, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to creating STEM curricula and programs, it is the brainchild of Ricardo Valerdi, an engineer and university professor who brings his passions for sports and numbers to middle schoolers across the country.

Read the full article in Diversity in Action magazine at http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=433499&pre=1#{"issue_id":433499,"page":42}.


 

Photo of Ricardo Valerdi with youth baseball players courtesy Diversity in Action.