MLSE LaunchPad, IBM bring stem learning to classrooms through sports

MLSE LaunchPad and IBM are working together to make learning fun and engaging while keeping youth physically active. MLSE LaunchPad’s Sport and STEM program in partnership with IBM is designed to allow students to discover the value of academics through sport. Each session follows a curriculum on IBM SkillsBuild which includes IBM STEM lessons and an interactive Sport lesson facilitated by MLSE LaunchPad coaches.

In 2018, MLSE LaunchPad teamed up with Visions of Science to reimagine how sport could be used to teach STEM concepts to grade 7 & 8 students. Last year, IBM joined this partnership to support the growth of the program and compliment IBM’s commitment to supporting the next generation of STEM leaders. Participants in the program build on their critical thinking and collective decision-making skills and are challenged to incorporate their learnings into their lives inside and outside the classroom.

Meet Kai – a Grade 7 student in downtown Toronto who recently completed the program this past school year. Kai has always had a passion for basketball and was surprised to learn about the overlap between the sport he loves and the classroom he attends.

“I enjoyed the program a lot. I learned about basketball about how math and basketball and science all have things in common. Without science and math you can’t do anything in basketball."

"Without science and math you can’t do anything in basketball."

The program reached over 500 students this year from 3 different school boards. In total, 19 classrooms across 10 different schools engaged in sport and STEM. Post-program survey results showed that 82% of participants believed they could – and wanted to – have a career in the STEM field.

“Youth are telling us they want to learn and grow for greater representation in STEM fields," said IBM Canada's CSR Program Manager Carolyn Murphy. "We’re here to help knock down those barriers so youth can see themselves one day as engineers, doctors, physicists, and more. Sport and STEM are powerful tools. We believe by combining sport and STEM, building youth’s physical and mental strength, anything is possible.

In addition to getting youth active while learning, the program is also designed to use real examples of how STEM principles apply to sport as a relatable way for youth to get introduced to the topics.

“They showed videos of NBA players and we discussed the arc of their shots and the calculations that go into it," said Kai. "It was really a really unique way of looking at it and I hope to use this knowledge to improve my basketball game as well. We learned so much… in terms of jobs, it’s cool to learn about different options out there for us to pursue."

"My parents were probably watching 22 minutes or the news at 6PM and the programming just leaked over. I’m so grateful that it did"
Lisa Wiele, MLSE LaunchPad

At MLSE LaunchPad we use Sport For Development to address some of the most significant issues facing youth today through our four programming pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready for School and Ready for Work. Youth that are more physically active demonstrate a variety of physical and mental health benefits related to both cardiovascular health and cognitive development, which is why the sport and STEM program strives to entwine academics with fitness.

“Sports just take me away from my problems and makes me happy,” said Kai. “It changes the way I feel – like right now I’m a little tired and stressed with school at the end of the year, but as soon as I come to MLSE LaunchPad, I can express myself and just have fun.”

"...as soon as I come to MLSE LaunchPad, I can express myself and just have fun.”

Four years in, the sport and STEM program still has a ton of room for growth. It's been running virtually each of the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and having the program physically back in the classrooms will open up more exciting opportunities.

"After two years of virtual programming, we're excited to bring back the Sport and STEM program for in-person programming in September," said MLSE LaunchPad Partnership and Programs coordinator Brandon Gibbs. "This provides an exciting opportunity for us to expand our partnership with IBM and further support youth like Kai, as they grow and develop into leaders of tomorrow."

Ready to join Kai in growing your STEM skills? Join IBM SkillsBuild, a free online program to explore new technologies, build skills that are foundational for the workplace, and earn professional digital badges to show what you've learned.

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MLSE LaunchPad, IBM bring stem learning to classrooms through sports

MLSE LaunchPad and IBM are working together to make learning fun and engaging while keeping youth physically active. MLSE LaunchPad’s Sport and STEM program in partnership with IBM is designed to allow students to discover the value of academics through sport. Each session follows a curriculum on IBM SkillsBuild which includes IBM STEM lessons and an interactive Sport lesson facilitated by MLSE LaunchPad coaches.

In 2018, MLSE LaunchPad teamed up with Visions of Science to reimagine how sport could be used to teach STEM concepts to grade 7 & 8 students. Last year, IBM joined this partnership to support the growth of the program and compliment IBM’s commitment to supporting the next generation of STEM leaders. Participants in the program build on their critical thinking and collective decision-making skills and are challenged to incorporate their learnings into their lives inside and outside the classroom.

Meet Kai – a Grade 7 student in downtown Toronto who recently completed the program this past school year. Kai has always had a passion for basketball and was surprised to learn about the overlap between the sport he loves and the classroom he attends.

“I enjoyed the program a lot. I learned about basketball about how math and basketball and science all have things in common. Without science and math you can’t do anything in basketball."

"Without science and math you can’t do anything in basketball."

The program reached over 500 students this year from 3 different school boards. In total, 19 classrooms across 10 different schools engaged in sport and STEM. Post-program survey results showed that 82% of participants believed they could – and wanted to – have a career in the STEM field.

“Youth are telling us they want to learn and grow for greater representation in STEM fields," said IBM Canada's CSR Program Manager Carolyn Murphy. "We’re here to help knock down those barriers so youth can see themselves one day as engineers, doctors, physicists, and more. Sport and STEM are powerful tools. We believe by combining sport and STEM, building youth’s physical and mental strength, anything is possible.

In addition to getting youth active while learning, the program is also designed to use real examples of how STEM principles apply to sport as a relatable way for youth to get introduced to the topics.

“They showed videos of NBA players and we discussed the arc of their shots and the calculations that go into it," said Kai. "It was really a really unique way of looking at it and I hope to use this knowledge to improve my basketball game as well. We learned so much… in terms of jobs, it’s cool to learn about different options out there for us to pursue."

"Youth are telling us they want to learn and grow for greater representation in STEM fields."

At MLSE LaunchPad we use Sport For Development to address some of the most significant issues facing youth today through our four programming pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready for School and Ready for Work. Youth that are more physically active demonstrate a variety of physical and mental health benefits related to both cardiovascular health and cognitive development, which is why the sport and STEM program strives to entwine academics with fitness.

“Sports just take me away from my problems and makes me happy,” said Kai. “It changes the way I feel – like right now I’m a little tired and stressed with school at the end of the year, but as soon as I come to MLSE LaunchPad, I can express myself and just have fun.”

"...as soon as I come to MLSE LaunchPad, I can express myself and just have fun.”

Four years in, the sport and STEM program still has a ton of room for growth. It's been running virtually each of the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and having the program physically back in the classrooms will open up more exciting opportunities.

"After two years of virtual programming, we're excited to bring back the Sport and STEM program for in-person programming in September," said MLSE LaunchPad Partnership and Programs coordinator Brandon Gibbs. "This provides an exciting opportunity for us to expand our partnership with IBM and further support youth like Kai, as they grow and develop into leaders of tomorrow."

Ready to join Kai in growing your STEM skills? Join IBM SkillsBuild, a free online program to explore new technologies, build skills that are foundational for the workplace, and earn professional digital badges to show what you've learned.

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MLSE LaunchPad and IBM are working together to make learning fun and engaging while keeping youth physically active. MLSE LaunchPad’s Sport and STEM program in partnership with IBM is designed to allow students to discover the value of academics through sport. Each session follows a curriculum on IBM SkillsBuild which includes IBM STEM lessons and an interactive Sport lesson facilitated by MLSE LaunchPad coaches.

In 2018, MLSE LaunchPad teamed up with Visions of Science to reimagine how sport could be used to teach STEM concepts to grade 7 & 8 students. Last year, IBM joined this partnership to support the growth of the program and compliment IBM’s commitment to supporting the next generation of STEM leaders. Participants in the program build on their critical thinking and collective decision-making skills and are challenged to incorporate their learnings into their lives inside and outside the classroom.

Meet Kai – a Grade 7 student in downtown Toronto who recently completed the program this past school year. Kai has always had a passion for basketball and was surprised to learn about the overlap between the sport he loves and the classroom he attends.

“I enjoyed the program a lot. I learned about basketball about how math and basketball and science all have things in common. Without science and math you can’t do anything in basketball."

"
"Without science and math you can’t do anything in basketball."
"

The program reached over 500 students this year from 3 different school boards. In total, 19 classrooms across 10 different schools engaged in sport and STEM. Post-program survey results showed that 82% of participants believed they could – and wanted to – have a career in the STEM field.

“Youth are telling us they want to learn and grow for greater representation in STEM fields," said IBM Canada's CSR Program Manager Carolyn Murphy. "We’re here to help knock down those barriers so youth can see themselves one day as engineers, doctors, physicists, and more. Sport and STEM are powerful tools. We believe by combining sport and STEM, building youth’s physical and mental strength, anything is possible.

In addition to getting youth active while learning, the program is also designed to use real examples of how STEM principles apply to sport as a relatable way for youth to get introduced to the topics.

“They showed videos of NBA players and we discussed the arc of their shots and the calculations that go into it," said Kai. "It was really a really unique way of looking at it and I hope to use this knowledge to improve my basketball game as well. We learned so much… in terms of jobs, it’s cool to learn about different options out there for us to pursue."

"
"Youth are telling us they want to learn and grow for greater representation in STEM fields."
"

At MLSE LaunchPad we use Sport For Development to address some of the most significant issues facing youth today through our four programming pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready for School and Ready for Work. Youth that are more physically active demonstrate a variety of physical and mental health benefits related to both cardiovascular health and cognitive development, which is why the sport and STEM program strives to entwine academics with fitness.

“Sports just take me away from my problems and makes me happy,” said Kai. “It changes the way I feel – like right now I’m a little tired and stressed with school at the end of the year, but as soon as I come to MLSE LaunchPad, I can express myself and just have fun.”

"
"...as soon as I come to MLSE LaunchPad, I can express myself and just have fun.”
"

Four years in, the sport and STEM program still has a ton of room for growth. It's been running virtually each of the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and having the program physically back in the classrooms will open up more exciting opportunities.

"After two years of virtual programming, we're excited to bring back the Sport and STEM program for in-person programming in September," said MLSE LaunchPad Partnership and Programs coordinator Brandon Gibbs. "This provides an exciting opportunity for us to expand our partnership with IBM and further support youth like Kai, as they grow and develop into leaders of tomorrow."

Ready to join Kai in growing your STEM skills? Join IBM SkillsBuild, a free online program to explore new technologies, build skills that are foundational for the workplace, and earn professional digital badges to show what you've learned.

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