Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell typically hits the court with his teammates, but last week he went one-on-one with some Dallas ISD math and science teachers for a special program that brings those academic subjects to life.
The Dallas Mavericks Science of Basketball, presented by Flowserve, aims to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through basketball examples.
The Mavs partnered with Science of Sport, joining other professional sports teams around the country to use this curriculum aimed at empowering students who might be underperforming academically.
“It’s important to engage (students) with exciting new strategies to help them learn,” said Powell, a graduate of Stanford University.
This is the third year that the Mavericks and Powell have participated in Science of Basketball.
The program targets fifth- and sixth-grade teachers and educators say the students connect with the program because it involves hands-on learning experiences like interactive student camps that are tied to basketball.
“I’ve definitely incorporated science and basketball into my classroom,” said Jeni Townsend, a fifth-grade teacher. “To this day, I hear from previous students that ask if I’ve gone to the Mavs facility. It’s something they definitely remember.”
Each educator received special Science of Basketball kits that included all of the classroom materials and sporting equipment needed to implement the program at their schools.
“The kids are our future. The better we can educate them, the better they’ll be prepared to carry on all of our legacies,” Powell said.
Between January and March, the educators teach the curriculum in their classrooms and then the students are invited back for a field trip in the spring to show-off on the court what they’ve learned in the classroom.
Last week, Powell helped the teachers measure their wingspans next to Dirk Nowitzki’s and they studied the mass, weight and volume of air pressure in basketballs. They also raced down the court with parachutes on to gauge air resistance with the force of gravity.
Powell emphasized the importance of these fun and engaging learning techniques to create a positive, hands-on environment to reach students in new, dynamic ways that keep their attention.
Science of Basketball does that.
“Giving back to the local youth and supporting DISD is one of the most important things that we can do. The community is the only reason why we are able to play this sport.”
In the spring, DISD students will be invited to show Powell what they’ve learned in the classroom for a student camp.
ABOUT MAVS OFF COURT: The Dallas Mavericks strive to be champions on the court and in the community. We are dedicated to building a stronger community through educational programs, health and wellness initiatives, environmental efforts, support for military veterans, and grants to nonprofit organizations. Through our community programs and the Mavs Foundation, we are changing lives in North Texas and have impacted thousands of children, families and communities. Learn more at Mavs.com/Community or on Twitter and Instagram at @MavsOffCourt.
ABOUT FLOWSERVE: Flowserve Corp. is one of the world’s leading providers of fluid motion and control products and services. Operating in more than 55 countries, the company produces engineered and industrial pumps, seals and valves as well as a range of related flow management services.
ABOUT SCIENCE OF SPORT: The Science of Sport is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing curriculum and programming that promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through sports. Programs are designed to bring math and science to life through in-school exercises and hands-on learning by providing engaging programs for students and teachers. The goal is to translate the love of sport into an appreciation, understanding, and passion of the science and mathematics underlying the sport. Through this approach, they aim to empower students who may be underperforming academically by relating core curriculum topics to their athletic strengths, capabilities, and interests.