Buck Leonard Association's project encourages STEM education


Duke Softball Coach Marissa Young, right, sits with Dee Graham during team's trip to Duke University.


From Contributed Reports

Monday, December 25, 2017

What if children could witness firsthand how science, technology, engineering and math run a business, a university or a city?

Moreover, what if they could see people working in these fields and have them talk about what educational preparation it takes to become professionals in STEM-related fields? And then to take into consider what more it might take to stimulate and sustain children’s interest in STEM studies?

Using the baseball program as a stratagem to promote academic readiness, the Buck Leonard Association for Human Enrichment’s S-STEM — sports, science, technology, engineering and math — Field Trip & Excursion Project provides concrete learning experience for youth enrolled in the Buck Leonard Baseball League.

Whether it’s taking trip to the local Children’s Museum, Imagination Station in Wilson, N.C. A&T University or Bennett College in Greensboro or spending a few hours visiting Duke University and having lunch with Softball Coach Marissa Young, the organization finds ways to use baseball to keep children moving and actively engaged in STEM learning episodes.

“While we want our children to see the value in pursuing STEM studies, we recognize that many children may not have acquired a clear understanding of how early preparation can increase their potential for careers in science and tech related fields, said association Executive Director Rose Hunter. “We see it as meaningful to share earning potentials in a wide range of STEM related careers – jobs where children can realistically visualize themselves in as young adults. Our ongoing, face-to-face services delivery approach keeps us in an ideological ‘think-tank’ where we are inspired to develop organic, designer programs that reflect and support children’s interest.

“With children’s input, we are able to place them in real life learning venues where they are more likely to become fully engaged and come away with a working knowledge of how to prepare for STEM oriented occupations.”

The organization is grateful to the Futtrell Mauldin Foundation, Edgecombe County Charitable Trust, the Rocky Mount Community Foundation and the Residents Council of the Rocky Mount Housing Authority for their support of the Buck Leonard Baseball League and its wrap-around enrichment projects. Their contributions provide the resources needed to bring quality services to children residing in inner-city communities.