D-backs to host Science of Baseball STEM Showcase this Friday

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) will welcome more than 4,000 Arizona students and their families this Friday, Sept. 30 for the game against the San Diego Padres as part of the third annual D-backs Science of Baseball STEM Showcase, presented by Chase and Insight. The main concourse and upper level at Chase Field will be filled with Arizona youth who are learning more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through a unique program that will be highlighted throughout the ballpark.

Throughout the ballpark this Friday, fans will be able to visit interactive exhibits and meet with experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Several of the exhibits will be operated by STEM club students, teachers and families who will receive complimentary tickets from Chase. Volunteers from Chase and Insight will be distributing STEM Showcase maps at the gates. More than 61 schools have taken part in the program with 2,000 students and teachers participating in a pregame STEM parade on the field. Each of the pregame parade participants will receive a free D-backs Science of Baseball t-shirt, compliments of Chase.

Before the game Dante Lauretta, current professor of planetary science and Cosmochemistry at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Professor Lauretta, an expert in near-Earth asteroid formation and evolution, is the leader of NASA's OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return mission which launched Sept. 8, 2016.

Introduced in 2013, the objective of the D-backs Science of Baseball program is to promote STEM through classroom theory and practical applications of the sport of baseball. A university research-based curriculum was created that includes fifteen lesson plans that get kids engaged through interactive principles of the game of baseball. Taught by Science of Baseball Founder, University of Arizona Professor Ricardo Valerdi and engineering students, the curriculum will include classroom activities (demonstrations, films and clinics), athletic activities (drills, scrimmages and coaching) and take-home activities at the appropriate level for the targeted age groups.

This season, the D-backs Science of Baseball team has hosted STEM camps for teachers and students, with more scheduled before the end of the year. For more information, visit dbacks.com/scienceofbaseball. Before the game, Chase volunteers will be on site to hand out t-shirts while Chase and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation will present 10 STEM clubs and teachers with a $2,500 grant to support their projects, totaling $25,000. The list of recipients can be found below. 

Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and Chase STEM Grant Recipients 

Name of School                                         Town                                  Program/Project

Bales Elementary School                       Buckeye                            Family Math Nights

Cactus High School                                  Peoria                                 Robotics

Hillcrest Middle School                          Glendale                           STEM Action Labs

Johnson Elementary School                 Mesa                              Engineering Design with Robotics

Keller Elementary School                      Mesa                                   Science Camp

Mountain Sky Middle School               Phoenix                             Lego Robotics Investigations

P.T. Coe Elementary School                  Phoenix                             Ninas Con Destino Robotics

Red Mountain High School                   Mesa                                   Plasma Robotics           

Sierra Middle School                               Tucson                               Science Labs

Tavan Elementary School                      Phoenix                   Tavan STEAM Academy Technology

"The Science of Baseball Night is a fun event that sparks students' interest in STEM education, and we're excited to partner with the Diamondbacks for this program," said Noreen Bishop, Market Manager for JP Morgan Private Bank in Arizona. The innovation and creativity in the exhibits are a testament to the value of engaging students early in STEM education and supporting programs that will support the critical thinkers of our future workforce."

"Connecting students, teachers and administrators to technology to inspire tomorrow's leaders is something our entire organization takes to heart," said Amy Protexter, vice president of marketing for Insight. "Our support of the D-backs Science of Baseball program is one of the many ways we demonstrate that commitment."