September 21, 2018

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Program aimed at using football as education tool scheduled for Saturday in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS –  It’s no secret that football in southeastern Louisiana is a big deal.  From Friday night lights, college game days and bowls, and the “Who Dat Nation” for Sunday’s Saints games – Louisianans are exposed to the game at an early age. Enthusiasm for the game comes early too.

Capitalizing on that enthusiasm is a movement incorporating the ins and outs of the game with lessons in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Science of Sport, a program led by University of Arizona faculty, is at the forefront of that movement, and along with the Sun Belt Conference, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, and the College Football Playoff Foundation, they will host an educational seminar for elementary-aged students this Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome prior to the start of the 17th edition of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

“The Sun Belt Conference and its partners are excited to offer this program that combines passion for the game of football with a unique learning opportunity,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson.  “Sports have always been an opportunity for adolescent development, but this is a different approach.  Seeing science at work through something as familiar as football is a terrific way to get students further engaged with the principles of STEM.”

More than 100 fourth through eighth grade students from the greater New Orleans area will converge on the Superdome beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

“The Science of Football and its curriculum brings STEM to life through active participation in sports,” said Science of Sport’s Vice President Daren Heaton.  “Topics will include passer ratings, pass trajectory, field goal percentages, angles receivers take to catch balls, geometrical angles of the football field, and the Wonderlic Exam.  Exploring the game like this provides a fresh way for students to understand STEM.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Sun Belt Conference, Science of Sport, and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl,” said CFP Foundation Executive Director Britton Banowsky. “Teaching STEM lessons through sport is an innovative way to educate, and we are excited so many students will have the opportunity to learn through this approach.”

After the conclusion of the morning’s lessons, the students will grab lunch, participate in an on-field presentation, and then head to the stands to watch Sun Belt Conference Champions Troy take on North Texas.  Kickoff is set for noon and the game is being aired on ESPN.

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About Andy Bryson 625 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach