The STEAM Academy is headed for the ‘Stache Tank.
Presentations by students from the STEAM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) on new ideas for an area of Whitaker Bank Ballpark are now scheduled forThursday, January 14 and Friday, January 15 at the ballpark. The original date was January 7, but was rescheduled for the next week to give the students additional time to prepare following the holiday break.
The presentations will follow a format similar to the popular reality television show “Shark Tank,” in which entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of potential investors. The Legends are calling the setting the “’Stache Tank” in recognition of the team’s mustache logo.
STEAM 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.
Thirty groups of freshman (ninth grade) students made presentations at STEAM December 11. Those who were ranked in the top eight will come to Whitaker Bank Ballpark January 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. both days to present their ideas to a panel of judges that will include community partners of both STEAM and the Legends.
“I had the pleasure of seeing all 30 presentations at the STEAM Academy,” said Rebecca Barnes, the Legends’ director of community relations. “The effort, quality and thoughtfulness that went into these presentations exceeded my expectations and more. These kids are so talented.”
Included among the eight projects that will be presented by the finalists are a trampoline area, a wall for rock climbing, indoor skydiving and a virtual reality baseball dome.
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.
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.