Success in school – learning, building relationships and contributing to the school environment – leads to success in other areas of life. At The First Tee, we believe engaging in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), helps youth discover career opportunities. The USGA Learning Science Through Golf Academy is the perfect place for youth foster their interest in STEM.
During the week, 24 teens learned from highly-educated individuals about the technology of golf at the USGA Research & Test Center. As an added bonus, Maya Luster, an engineer and alumna of The First Tee, chaperoned the event.
Maya shared what it was like to serve as a role model for those looking to pursue a STEM career.
What was it like being on the other side as an alumna and chaperone?
As a chaperone and an engineer, it was wonderful to see so many bright minds excited about learning. Going to my first national event as a chaperone, I see the tremendous benefit of participating. It is an opportunity for not only new experiences but to build long-lasting relationships with fellow participants from all around the country.
What were some highlights from the event?
The First Tee Learning Science through Golf Academy was a smash hit! At the USGA Museum, the students completed a scavenger hunt incorporating math and science with all of the exhibits. Participants learned about all of the great golfers throughout history while applying themselves to some thoughtful, challenging questions.
After viewing the wonderful technologies of the USGA Research and Test Center, participants designed and engineered their own versions of the stimpmeter. A stimpmeter is a simple tool that measures the speed of the putting greens. Some teams went about the process by jumping into the build phase and using trial and error, whereas some teams actually used mathematics and physics equations and calculations to achieve the correct angles and speeds that they desired.
Do you have any advice for women wanting to pursue careers in STEM?
Being a woman engineer, I was absolutely delighted to see such a great mix of bright young girls. Throughout my undergraduate years and on into my graduate studies, my mission and passion is to reach out to young girls and get them excited about STEM majors. While women are a minority when it comes to the STEM careers, I can see this trend changing for the better. I feel that every young girl has the right to pursue the path that they most desire, and it takes women like me to show them the path and make it that much easier for them to reach their goals and dreams.
HOW CAN TEENS TAKE THE NEXT STEP?
These opportunities are only available to youth involved in chapters of The First Tee. Most of the events and programs have a selection process that includes an application reviewed by a committee. Parents, if you want your child to participate, please inquire at your chapter.
Not yet involved in The First Tee?