You don’t have to be a college hoops fanatic to get swept up in March Madness. Just as athletes “learn from the game,” the annual NCAA competition offers K-12 students a timely, engaging way to hone their STEM knowledge and skills. Check out this eGFI collection of bracket-busting resources:
Activities and Features from eGFI
- Free-Shot Physics [Grade 6-8] Contains extra-credit math problem calculating free-throw averages.
- Robot Basketball [grades 5-12]
- Digits & Dunks [feature on Peoria, Ill. students who learn math by shooting baskets]
- Engineer Hoopsters [feature on engineering students on varsity teams]
- NCAA Big Dance Basics [2013 feature] and The Big Dance [2011 feature]
- The Secret to Swish [eGFI Students’ blog feature on basketball math and physics]
- Slam-Dunk Engineer [profile of varsity player Reed Doucette, UCLA engineering grad & Rhodes scholar]
- Full Court Engineering [March 2013 eGFI Teachers’ newsletter]
- Hoops & Heaps of Learning [March 2011 eGFI Teachers’ newsletter]
Basketball Lesson Links for the STEM Classroom. This Siemens STEM Academy blog post has links to a dozen online activities and features, from basketball physics to bracket science to eGFI’s Big Dance Basics.
Basketball on Earth vs. Moon. Interactive infographic details the different gravitational forces and how that affects a jump shot.
Basketball STEM Project. Quick takes on topics from the engineering of the ball (dimpled surface improves grip) to the math of free-throw averages.
Circumference of a Changing Basketball & 5 Other Math Activities. NCAA Basketball has assembled six standards-based hands-on middle school math activities. [Grades 6-8]
Engineer a Sneaker. NGSS-aligned design activity from the University of Colorado, Boulder’s TeachEngineering online lesson-plan library. [Grades 6-8]
Exploring Binary: Elements of Binary in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Ph.D. computer scientist/blogger Rick Regan looks at brackets in terms of binary math.
March Fun: Basketball Lesson Plans. Education World’s list ranges from and elementary-level poetry writing challenge to using high-school math to figure the winner. Includes a You’ve Got Game! game-design challenge for all grade levels.
NCAA Basketball Lesson Plan Resources and Links (part 1). Bracket science, who’s #1, and the history of basketball are among the 15 links listed in this blog post from 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning.
NCAA Basketball Lesson Plan Resources and Links (part 2). 15 more problem-based learning links from 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning.
Thirty NCAA Basketball Lesson Links: Best Classroom Lessons Never Taught. Indiana’s former STEM educator of the year suggests hands-on ways to incorporate students’ excitement about basketball brackets in math, geography, and other lessons, such as performing a cost-benefit analysis by determining whether LeBron James should mow his own lawn.
Trashketball. This video-rich lesson in collecting and charting data from Modeling Middle School Mathematics rotates students to different stations where they can score one, two, or three points by tossing wadded up paper balls into the waste basket.
Originally posted March 2014, updated March 2017
Tags: basketball, Class Activities, Curriculum, Engineering, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-5, Internet Resources, Lesson Plans, March Madness, NCAA, Physics, Resources for Teachers, Sports, STEM education, Teacher Resources