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108 Stitches: The Physics in Baseball

108 Stitches: The Physics in Baseball


108 STITCHES: THE PHYSICS IN BASEBALL is a science-based curriculum focusing on students in grades 6 through 10. The series uses the game of baseball to demonstrate basic principles of physics as set forth by the National Science Education Standards and the Ohio Science Academic Content Standards. Highlighting one of the Cleveland Indians farm teams, the Kinston Indians, the programs demonstrate how much physics really impacts America's favorite pastime.

108 STITCHES: THE PHYSICS IN BASEBALL is centered on four videos: The Pitch, The Hit, Running the Basesand The Flight. The series is designed to enrich the classroom with powerful learning modules that are relevant and engaging to students. The hands-on, minds-on activities will revolve around topic areas that have been selected because of their relevance to the demonstration of physics and the sport of baseball.

In addition to the videos and Web site, 108 STITCHES: THE PHYSICS IN BASEBALLalso has a teacher-developed teachers guide available in a downloadable format.


The Goal

It is the goal of 108 STITCHES: THE PHYSICS IN BASEBALLto enhance classroom learning conditions by:

  • Using diverse instructional strategies and settings that offer students many ways to think about and construct their knowledge.
  • Analyzing information that students have gathered and presenting it in a new form.
  • Providing multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in connecting science and mathematics to real-world applications as well as their own lives.

Educational Resources

Produced: 2004

Subject Area: Science

Grade Level: 6-10

Resources: 108 Stitches: The Physics in Baseball Teacher Guide

The Pitch

The first program in this series takes a look at the physics of the pitch. There's a lot of exciting physics to explore in the 60-feet-6-inch path from the pitching rubber—10 inches above the playing field to the batter standing at home plate. The Pitch takes a look at gravity, air drag and the Magnus force and how the pitcher can use these forces to manipulate the path of the ball.

The Hit

The second video picks up where the first one left off; this one emphasizes the perspective of energy. The Hit focuses on kinetic energy, the coefficient of restitution and Newton's laws of motion, as well as how the quantity of energy of speed and mass changes as a result of the batter hitting the ball.

Running the Bases

What's baseball without players running the bases? The third program looks at how ball players apply Newton's first and second laws when they are running the bases. While base running is strictly between the runner and the clock and has nothing to do with the forces between the bat and ball, there's still plenty of physics to explore. It takes a look at force, mass, inertia and acceleration.

The Flight

The final program is devoted to the ball's flight after the batter's hit. The Flight takes into consideration perfect projectile motion, launch angle, air drag, turbulence, temperature, air density and, of course, the Magnus force — all the factors that go into sending a baseball from home plate over the fence more than 350 feet away.