49ers & Chelsea FC expand STEM collaboration for youth education

01 May 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

The Chelsea Foundation has joined forces with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers to launch an educational programme for young people.

The first event of the partnership, saw the Chelsea Foundation’s education department and their counterparts from California, 49ers EDU, work together to bring science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to local children in Chelsea.

Teachers from 49ers EDU travelled to Stamford Bridge to develop and execute the free two-day program aimed at inspiring children aged nine - 10 to explore the concepts of STEM, as it relates to the game of American football.

Across the two days, more than 100 children from London learned about the evolution of football equipment and the similarities to what is used in American football, as well as the physics involved in sport and a general introduction to the NFL and American football as a whole.

Activities at the event included learning about the engineering of an American football, comparing old football boots to their modern equivalents and the coding and programming of an electronic ball.

The final session of each day took on a more practical feel, as representatives of NFL UK took the youngsters through some American football specific drills.

Next month, the 49ers and the Blues plan to bring a similar STEM-focused programme to San Francisco as part of their partnership.

The goal in so doing is to extend the impact of the partnership and bring additional learning opportunities to the students, teachers and administrators in the regions in which both clubs play.

Among those in attendance to witness events unfold was Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, and deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in London, Lewis Lukens.

Buck said: “This is a very interesting experience for the children and the Foundation.

“Every day of the week we are working with young people and adults but I think it is very interesting for us to see how another team and sport handles their education activities, so we can learn from them and continue to improve what we are doing.”

Lukens added: “It is great what they are doing here. They are using sport, American or English football, to show the kids how it impacts on their daily lives and how science, technology, engineering and maths is used within sport.

“Sport allows you to reach out to young people in a way you can’t always do through education alone, so it is fantastic to see both organisations reaching out and supporting their communities.”