The Science of Basketball is a STEM game changer
6th December 2023
An innovative education project led by the Newcastle Eagles women’s team, with support from the Reece Foundation, is breaking down stereotypes. The Science of Basketball gives North East schoolchildren dynamic ways to apply the key skills of STEM in a fun and educational visit to the Vertu Motors Arena.
“Having the Reece Foundation’s support for our programme has been essential for its sustainability and growth over the past 3 years. Without the support, we would not be able to make such an impact on the learning of young people and challenge historical stereotypes of both STEM and sport when it comes to female participation.”
What is The Science of Basketball?
The programme called ‘The Science of Basketball’ is aimed at KS2 students. Married up with the KS2 curriculum, the programme connects STEM subjects to basketball helping students gain an understanding of where their academics can be applied to the outside world.
The programme involves both theory and practical activities allowing for the students to see first-hand the theory learned in the classroom in our state-of-the-art facility at the Vertu Motors Arena. Run by the women’s team it is helping break gender stereotypes in both sport and STEM, as all the women’s players involved are educated to degree level in STEM subjects.
Why is funding from the Reece Foundation important?
The funding covers the cost of the delivery, including the players’ time, classroom and court hire, and the cost of the learning resources.
The Science of Basketball programme encourages KS2 students to tackle key STEM topics, such as percentages, ratios, averages and forces, by making the classroom come to life through the fast-paced and statistically focused professional sport. Thanks to the Reece Foundation, over a thousand schoolchildren in the region have already benefited from this game-changing and dynamic approach that puts one of the UK’s fastest-growing and most inclusive sports at the heart of STEM.
With the Reece Foundation’s support, the programme can be offered free of charge to the schools and give them access to facilities that support the educational and practical needs of the session. The support also provides students with learning materials to keep so that they can review their development after the session has concluded. Students complete a colourful booklet through the session to bring their learning to life from the interactive activity.
What impact has the funding achieved?
The programme to date has been delivered 30 times reaching 1,226 young people. This year the project will be delivered into 30 schools across the region, engaging over 2,000 students. Overall, there is improved outreach with local schools; KS2 students are gaining a deeper understanding of STEM subjects and basketball; and there is increased attendance at women’s games.
Why has the Reece Foundation supported the project?
The focus on the improvement of education in engineering and related scientific and mathematical subjects means the Eagles’ innovative programme fitted our funding criteria perfectly.
Faye Dent, Grants Manager at the Reece Foundation said: “It’s great to be able to continue supporting The Eagles with their innovative and inspiring project, The Science of Basketball, which is already reaching so many young people. We aim to inspire the younger generation and provide STEM education and employment opportunities which will have a positive impact on people’s lives and make a difference to the North East region.”Back to Case Studies