Science of Baseball
The Science of Baseball program was conceived by two long time Exploratorium employees and fervent baseball fans: David Barker, former designer and Art Director in the at the Exploratorium, and Linda Shore, Director of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute. Linda and David have taken their love of the game and formally and informally collaborated with the Oakland As, the San Francisco Giants, The Negro Leagues Museum, and Louisville Slugger in the development of a series of exhibits, public programs, publications and an innovative website which explore the physics of baseball and the biomechanics of how baseball players perform.
David and Linda have also helped conceive and develop a partnership with the San Francisco Giants baseball team, including Giants Magazine articles, in-stadium demonstrations, give-away materials, video, and exhibits. David's work helping develop the Exploratorium Science of Baseball website has won awards for content and design.
Baseball players are intuitive scientists, constantly performing experiments. Their laboratory is the ball field. To master the curve ball, a pitcher tinkers with the grip on the ball, its velocity, and different throwing motions. By trial and error, he will vary factors until the ball curves and the hitter swings and whiffs.
By playing and investigating with real phenomenon, we can extrapolate our findings to river flow, clouds, automobile aerodynamics, and...the curveball.