Students, Including Aspiring Engineer, Learn STEM Through Golf At First Tee—Tulsa

Let’s play a quick game of word association. When you hear or see “golf,” what are some of the first words that come to mind? Were biomechanics and materials science on that list? You may not realize it, but golf, science, technology, engineering, and math are closely related. Recently, some of our First Tee—Tulsa students learned how having an understanding of environmental science, energy transfer, aerodynamics, measurement and computation, and more can help them be better golfers and students. It can even help them plan for future careers.

“Whenever I grow up I want to be an aerospace engineer,” said 14-year-old Abram Smith. Every year, First Tee—Tulsa offers a class that teaches a variety of STEM concepts and how they relate to golf. Abram was one of the students; and for someone who loves golf and wants to be an engineer, it was the perfect fit. “You can go up and just hit the ball, but if you know how you hit the ball and why it works you’ll hit it more accurately,” Abram said. Through a variety of hands-on, golf-based exercises, students learn about geometric scaling, hinges and joints, Newton’s 2nd Law, energy transfer, and more. They make a scale map of a putting green, swing golf clubs at different speeds to see how momentum and tempo affect a golf swing, and much more. The exercises are a fun way for students to learn and understand STEM concepts used in careers like architecture, robotics, rocket science, and even engineering roller coasters! The class helps students appreciate how much STEM goes into a golf swing, golf clubs and balls, yardage books, and other tools used for the game. Knowing how these elements work is a skill Abram is thankful he was able to learn. “Like with math, if you know how something works, you’re a lot better off than just doing it,” he said. The STEM class is divided into two parts – the front 9 and the back 9. The next class will be held at the First Tee Learning Center on November 6th and 13th from 3-6 p.m. for students 12 and older. Space is limited. To sign up, email Coach Marla at [email protected].