A robot tried to shoot baskets. Kids learned how Beckham bent the soccer ball. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers explained the how the aluminum baseball bat was redesigned for safety.
The Cambridge Science Festival moved into Roxbury on Sunday with a “Science and Sports” event at Madison Park High School. The multi-site, ten-day festival began Friday and will run through April 29.
Basketball robot, Science and sports @ Cambridge Mass. science festival
John Durant, MIT museum director and festival founder, was there, playing ball in the gym with his young son. The point of the festival is to make science “accessible and fun,” he said. The ideas of this events is “to get youngsters to be more curious about the principles that underlie success in sports.”
At MIT, the school’s teams are known as the Engineers — with a beaver mascot — and two members of the baseball squad came in uniform. They uses cutaway balls and bats to explain a bit of physics. Catcher A.J. Hansborough, told to a group of boys how the aluminum bat was redesigned to slow down the speed of the ball.
“Have you ever been on a trampoline?” he asked. “So when you jump on it, it goes down and then you jump back up. This bat is just a trampoline for a baseball… With the thicker wall, it helps reduce the trampoline effect and makes it a worse trampoline.”
Kimberly White, an environmental engineer from Roxbury, stood behind her kindergartener son as he listened.
“I’m looking for him to realize that science is in everything we do,” she said.