The Lexington Legends are joining forces with STEAM Academy of Lexington to bring a new look to an area of Whitaker Bank Ballpark for 2016.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) students will make presentations on a variety of potential uses for an area beyond the right field fence that currently includes a basketball court.
The students created design ideas based on what they would like to see in that space. They utilized SketchUp modeling software to create 3D models of their proposed design space, and went on to develop budgets in which they determined projected cost and a proposed plan for return on investment. Students then produced presentations to demonstrate their purpose, background, design concept and target audience.
The idea for a student project at the ballpark was generated originally by a visit of some Legends players to STEAM, where the students learned how mathematics and science apply to the work of a professional baseball player. Statistics, momentum, ratios and other concepts were discussed in classes as students connected classwork to real-world ideas. Students later visited the ballpark to begin measurements and the budgeting process for their proposed projects.
This Friday, December 11, from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., 30 groups of freshman (ninth grade) students will make presentations at STEAM. Those ranked in the top five will come to Whitaker Bank Ballpark January 7 to present their ideas to a panel of judges that will include community partners of both STEAM and the Legends. Among the ideas to be presented at STEAM are: A garden with a solar-powered bench area and charging station; a revamped basketball court; batting cages; indoor skydiving; and rock climbing.
“We are ecstatic to be partnering with the STEAM Academy for this one-of-a-kind project here at the ballpark,” said Rebecca Barnes, the Legends director of community relations. “The collaboration seemed like the perfect fit. It has been such a delight working with such bright minds, and we are looking forward to seeing the ideas and projects that they present.”
STEAM, a partnership between Fayette County Public Schools and the University of Kentucky College of Education, began operation in the fall of 2013 and currently has a total of 341 students in the freshman, sophomore and junior classes. STEAM emphasizes project-based-learning, a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem or challenge.
STEAM operates in the building that formerly housed Johnson Elementary School on east Sixth Street.