Major League Baseball is teaming up with Discovery Education, a digital curriculum hub, on a multiyear partnership to incorporate baseball content in Discovery’s Science Techbooks and STEM education.
Discovery provides online tools and professional development for teachers and students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The science materials will now include MLB-themed content. Statcast data on a batted ball’s trajectory, for instance, could be used in a physics class. Some other sample topics include how humidity affects the number of home runs and how a batter’s nervous system helps him know when he should swing the bat.
Discovery Education shot and produced videos on the application of these principles to baseball careers. The first three in the series includes Orioles head groundskeeper Nicole Sherry, Mets VP of ballpark operations Sue Lucchi, and White Sox baseball information coordinator Devin Pickett.
“Major League Baseball is excited to launch this innovative partnership with Discovery Education, which reflects our shared goals of engaging students across the country, particularly in science and STEM,” said Barbara McHugh, SVP of marketing at MLB, in a statement. “We believe this high-quality digital media learning tool will offer educators an opportunity to drive greater understanding of science and STEM, particularly in their application to careers within our sport, and help students discover the beauty of our game year-round.”
Sherry appeared at Deep Creek Middle School in the Baltimore County Public Schools system for the kickoff presentation of the program. She brought turf samples from Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the students to examine and discuss.
“Continuously finding new and exciting ways to engage my students in science and STEM lessons is one of the biggest challenges I face as an educator,” said Michael J. Fuchs, the Deep Creek seventh-grade science teacher whose classroom hosted the presentation, in a news release. “The new Major League Baseball-themed content now available in Discovery Education’s digital services give me some powerful new tools and resources I will use to create immersive science lessons for my students.”
MLB will also be providing dynamic content, such as videos and images from the sport’s archives, for educators to implement into their curriculum. Discovery’s interactive Techbooks are currently in use by 5.6 million students in all 50 U.S. states and in Canada. Users are able to begin a free trialof the material. Discovery has previously worked with the NBA as well as EA Sports and the NFLPA.
MLB partnered with MasterCard last summer to bring Girls4Tech STEM education into its youth academies, and this Discovery Education partnership expands upon that effort with the potential to reach far more students. The use of sports material could engage some students who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in the lessons. The program simultaneously will reach a younger audience and perhaps even inspire some to choose a sports career in a field relevant to baseball like data science, athletic administration, or agriculture.