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Students learn “Science of the Game” with A’s outfielder Josh Reddick

on May 23, 2012

More than 130 fifth and sixth graders at Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond studied science on Tuesday.

Okay, so what?

This time their teachers didn’t wear white lab coats and talk about strange things underneath a microscope. Instead, Oakland A’s outfielder Josh Reddick and team mascot Stomper used a Louisville Slugger and chopped up baseballs to talk about the “Science of the Game.”

Since 2009, Chevron’s community engagement manager, Andrea Bailey, said the company has invested over $15 million to support science, technology, engineering and math education programs that have reached more than 500,000 students and 6,700 teachers in California.

The new scholastic workbooks sponsored by Chevron hopes to deepen Bay Area students’ interest in science by applying it to baseball. Students who complete the workbooks and submit their answer sheet to the A’s will receive two ticket vouchers to an upcoming home game.

“STEM education is critical to preparing the next generation for the increasing number of technical jobs in the modern economy,” said Linda Padon, general manager of corporate public policy at Chevron, using an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. “We will continue to partner with great organizations like the Oakland A’s to show Bay Area students that science is fun and will enable them to develop the innovations that shape our world.”

Swing-for-the-fence A’s outfielder Reddick said he remembers having a lot of fun with science fair projects when he was in middle school. One of his projects was finding out what kind of music affected a mouse’s appetite. The country boy from Georgia said he played five types of music and gave a mouse the same amount of food each time. “Classic rock, rock and roll were the ones he ate more to,” he said. “I don’t know if it was coincidence or whatnot, but that’s what they wanted us to do—chart it down.”

Oakland A’s mascot Stomper greets a Lincoln Elementary student and escorts her to meet Josh Reddick.

Mimi Melodia, the principal of Lincoln Elementary, said “Science of the Game” helps her students succeed because they can visualise greater applications for math and science in the real world. “Math and science is a high engagement activity,” Melodia said. “Kids like to know how and why things work. The more we can answer their questions with scientific terminology the more we can keep them engaged in the greater world.”

Even big leaguers who have reached the crowning point of their careers don’t know everything about the game. Reddick said he had no idea that the center of the baseball was called “the pill.” Standing in the middle of the school’s cafeteria he said, “You learn something new every day.”

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