Sport science news
The San Francisco 49ers Foundation and social change through sport pioneer Beyond Sport held the second installment of the ‘Beyond Innovation’ summit from May 22-23 at Levi’s® Stadium. Two hundred global leaders from across the sports, tech, non-profit, education, business, entertainment and development landscape, attended the unique event which focuses on creating innovative cross-sector partnerships that use the global appeal of sport – especially on young people – and its ideals, to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. With 2.8 million STEM jobs expected to go unfilled this year alone, the Beyond Innovation delegates collaborated on creative solutions and actions to help prevent the predicted shortfall of 85 million skilled jobs in the global economy by 2020.
Special guest, Dr. Mae Jemison — former NASA astronaut and the first woman of color to go into space — captivated the audience with her opening keynote reminding us that we already have enough knowledge to solve many of the world’s problems. The renowned physician, engineer, social scientist, entrepreneur and educator stated that science literacy is vital and that “hands on, hearts on, minds on” is “the best way to teach STEM.” As “earthlings,” we all have a responsibility to be beneficial to society as we are all connected. Following her remarks, Dr. Jemison had a surprise reunion with Dan Anisman, a man whose life she saved 35 years ago during their time together with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. Attending the event with the Special Olympics delegates, Mr. Anisman poignantly thanked her.
49ers EDU Director and event emcee, Jesse Lovejoy, then started the sessions which covered a diverse array of topics, including: cutting edge developments in sports and tech; how the education sector is using tech; opportunities and cautions in social responsibility and diversity and inclusion; the importance of private-public partnerships; and real-life examples of successful sport and STEM partnerships. Education sector attendees also provided valuable feedback direct from the classroom, noting that teachers consistently relayed that their main barriers were comfort with technology and access to it. With this generation consuming information in entirely different ways from previous generations, and with teachers playing such a critical front-line role, the insights were indispensable to innovating ways to engage students in STEM. Delegates also had the opportunity to become students of sport science themselves during a hands-on session in the 49ers Discovery Lab.