Join Discovery Education in the month of May as we celebrate STEM Learning: the powerful critical thinking and exploration practice connected by a common or transdisciplinary theme.
Utilizing a STEM mindset in the classroom, students ask deep, real-world questions, collaborate with their peers, arrive at meaningful conclusions, and explore STEM careers.
This STEM Challenge was created collaboratively by a team of Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council members, including Susan Bowdoin, Sonja Fehlmann, Stephanie Harper, Dacia Jones, Cathy Maher, and Conni Mulligan.
Consider your summer baseball team is taking a road trip from Chicago to Florida to watch the pros play in the Major League. Your team hopes to attend as many Major League baseball games as possible along its route. You will need to:
- Design a travel plan that aligns with Major League teams’ schedules and will meet the needs of your team
- Create the map of your route
- Calculate the length of your trip
- Explain why you chose the route
Remember, you are trying to get your team to the games and have fun at the same time. For an added challenge, determine a budget for the trip for things like gas, food, lodging, and determine how much each member of the team will need to contribute to the trip.
Explore this topic through supporting resources:
What modes of transportation have you taken? Which would be best to use in a cross-country trip to visit Major League ball parks? This video discusses the different modes of transportation. Use SOS: Visual Walkabout to introduce the challenge and give background information needed to complete it.
What is a map? How can it help you plan an itinerary for a trip? This video discusses planning an itinerary. Use SOS: A-E-I-O-U to help develop an understanding of important vocabulary and concepts related to maps.
Have you ever wondered if sliding into second base it really a good idea? The following video addresses some baseball myths, such as, can you really knock the hide off a baseball? Use SOS: Table Top Texting to engage students in making predictions about what they think will happen as they watch the various MythBusters’ videos about all things baseball. Remember to pause the video to write predictions before revealing the results of the MythBusters’ tests.
Read one of these books and practice looking at maps, identifying significant features and using them to navigate from one location to another. Extend this work by creating maps of the classroom, the school, or the neighborhood.
Keep these books available for looking up information about Major League Baseball teams, where they are located, and their statistics.
- The Ultimate Guide to Pro Baseball Teams by Nate LeBoutillier
- The Everything Kids’ Baseball Book by Greg Jacobs
Gather supporting evidence to design a travel plan, create a map, calculate the duration of your trip, and explain why you chose that route. Use a trusted source, like Discovery Education, for your research.
Create and share your travel plans using art, technology, or both.
- Hands-on Technology
- Create a tour of the route using Google Maps or Google Earth and placemarkers
- Design a travel plan itinerary for your teammates that lets them know what their route will be, hours of travel, what to pack, and the stadiums that they will visit
- Create a commercial to sell your route as a baseball travel package, making sure to include all details of the stops and games you’ll see
- Hands-on Art
- Create a talking baseball puppet using materials like a paper plate or styrofoam ball and share a perspective story about what is it like to be a baseball
- Create a photo book or sketch journal imagining the sights seen and experiences had on the journey with the team
Extend learning by exploring related digital resources and career connections to sports, travel, and related career fields: