Completed Projects - [ Science on the Green ]
Science on the Green was a year-round program for junior golfers in Oktibbeha, Clay, and Lowndes counties. It was offered by the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology (CSMT) and the Professional Golf Management (PGM) program at Mississippi State University. Funding for the program was provided by the USGA Foundation.
The participants -- 6th, 7th, or 8th graders enrolled in schools located in Oktibbeha, Clay, or Lowndes Counties -- were paired with PGM students from MSU, who assisted students with practice and on-course play. Volunteers from the community served as mentors for Science on the Green.
Prior golfing experience was not required for this program. However, participants must have had their parents' or guardian's permission to participate and must have been nominated by a teacher, coach, or school administrator.
The US Golf Association Foundation
The USGA Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the USGA, is dedicated to supporting and promoting junior golfing. To that end, they graciously donated funds to the Science on the Green project.
Professional Golf Management - Mississippi State University
The Professional Golf Management Department worked closely with the CSMT to bring about the Science on the Green project. Both students and faculty of the PGM Department devoted their time and skills in teaching and mentoring the participants in Science on the Green.
The Summer Science on the Green Workshops were designed to introduce middle school students to the game of golf. The workshops, held during the first two weeks of June, combined both theoretical knowledge with practical applications on the golf course during the two-week programs. Dr. Sandra Harpole, Professor of Physics and the CSMT Director, coordinated the academic instruction, while MSU Director of Golf, Blane Merritt, coordinated the Golf Clinic. Scott Maynard, Director of the MSU PGM Program, was in charge of pairing participants with PGM student mentors.
We held two summer workshops; the first in 2001, and the second in 2002.
The science activities for Science on the Green began with an introduction in trigonometry and measurement and progressed to the design and plotting of a golf green employing GPS's and graph paper. Students were divided into teams of 4 to 6 students based on their age and mathematical background. These teams learned and then competed together against the other teams in various competitions requiring their newly-learned mathematical and measuring skills.
Each workshop contained nine different academic activities, five of which had associated competitions. These competitions were used to gauge how much the students learned from the activities while also emphasizing group participation and cooperation. The academic activities are listed below along with a short description.
- Trigonometry - students were introduced to the trigonometric functions of sine, cosine, and tangent.
- Measurement - students worked on their mathematical and problem-solving skills.
- Range Finder - students used similar triangles to determine distances.
- Projectiles - students studied projectile motion as applied to golf.
- Aerodynamics - students experimented with the aerodynamics of golf balls with and without dimples.
- Center of Percussion - students were introduced to the topic of the center of percussion.
- Graphing - students were taught the fundamentals of graphing in two dimensions.
- Golf Hole Design - students designed their own golf holes.
- Pathfinder - students used a magnetic compass and their measurement skills in an orienteering challenge.
2003 Play Days
Play days were an opportunity for participants and their mentors from the past workshops to get together, play golf, reflect on their achievements, learn new skills, and polish their current skills. There were three play days, a tournament, and a banquet for the past participants and their mentors in 2003.
- Saturday, March 8, 2003 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Lunch was provided at the MSU Golf Course)
- Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Lunch was provided at the MSU Golf Course)
- Saturday, March 29, 2003 - 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Science on the Green Tournament - Saturday, April 5, 2003 - 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Science on the Green Banquet at the Bryan Athletic Building - Saturday, April 5, 2003 - 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.