When most kids visit a golf tournament as prestigious as the U.S. Senior Open, all you can hope for them to take out of it is a little bit more respect for the game and the players involved.
Paul Kramer's daughter, Jenna, learned even more Thursday.
“If you have two of the same golf balls, except one has dimples and one doesn't, then the one that doesn't won't go as far because the dimples make it spin,” she lectured.
Jenna was in the middle of her visit at the STEMZone tent near the main entrance of Omaha Country Club when she revealed her newfound knowledge. The tent is designed to help kids and families learn about the science that goes into golf.
STEMZone representative Kayla Shafer showed Jenna an air cannon loaded with golf ball-sized ammo.
Shafer explained golfing aerodynamics while Jenna aimed at the 10-foot bull's-eye on the wall in front of her.
After inching closer to the center, Jenna exhausted through all of her ammo. But she was hooked.
“Can I try it again?” she asked.
These moments of enlightenment and engagement are what Shafer and the crew at the STEMZone are trying to create.
“It's cool because you can kind of see the imaginary light bulb go off in their heads,” Shafer said.
Jenna had some other options at the STEMZone. She could take a swing at a virtual closest-to-the-pin contest or look at different terrains of the golf course through a microscope.
However, she was dead set on reporting the weather at the broadcast station.
Getting every kid to be as enthusiastic as Jenna about science and the different aspects of golf is ultimately the goal at the tent.
“I think the age-old question is: When am I ever going to use this?” Shafer said. “If you can relate it to something in real life, such as a sport, then it totally makes sense to the kids, and they're excited about learning.”