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Young Inventor Hits It Out of the Park

A simple stitch got a young Molokai inventor national recognition and a free Kindle Fire e-reader. Erik Svetin, who will be a freshman at Molokai High School this year, added a row of stitches to a baseball to see if it would affect the distance the ball traveled. He entered his invention in the national Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and was named the Hawaii merit award winner.

“I wanted to do a science fair experiment on my passion, which is baseball,” Svetin said. The additional stitches ran horizontal across the ball and had the same spacing as the existing ones.  It took him about an hour to add the stitch to the baseball.

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Erik Svetin’s prize-winning baseball (left) features a horizontal row of stitches. Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Svetin.

He hypothesized that the extra stitch would cause the ball to travel further. He was right. After a series of tests, he found his baseball traveled 2.26 percent, or about 2.8 additional meters, farther than a standard ball.

“I used a pitching machine to simulate the flight, and I put it in at different alignments,” Svetin said. “When the stitch was vertical it went the furthest.”

He said this means that the ball could cause more homeruns, depending on how the bat hit the ball. After all, the  2.8 additional meters the altered ball travels could be the difference between outfield and over-the-fence. He added that the new ball could also affect the velocity or movement of the pitch. Svetin thought about patenting his game-changing invention, but decided not to.

“I don’t think anybody will change the baseball,” he said. “Nobody has changed the baseball in 50-something years.”

The Young Scientist Challenge asked middle school students to submit “a new or innovative solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem related to how we live, how we work or how we play,” according the challenge’s website. It also asked for a short video featuring the inventor and his or her item. In Svetin’s video, he explained how he altered the baseball and his findings after taking it to the field.

“This new ball could create even more excitement in the game of baseball around the world,” Svetin explained to the judges in the video. But beyond baseball, Svetin is adding excitement to the community.

His mom, Kimberly Svetin, said an accomplishment like this reflects well on the middle and high schools.

This was Erik Svetin’s second science fair entry he’s entered. His first one was about monitoring refrigerators, but he said he enjoyed inventing with his baseball better. As he does more research, he’ll decide if his future inventions will be a continuation of his baseball, or if he’ll take a swing at something new.

Supporters can check out Svetin’s invention and recognition by visiting youngscientistchallenge.com.

 

Young Inventor Hits It Out of the ParkBy Emily SumnersA simple stitch got a young Molokai inventor national recognition and a free Kindle Fire e-reader. Erik Svetin, who will be a freshman at Molokai High School this year, added a row of stitches to a baseball to see if it would affect the distance the ball traveled. He entered his invention in the national Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and was named the Hawaii merit award winner. “I wanted to do a science fair experiment on my passion, which is baseball,” Svetin said. The additional stitches ran horizontal across the ball and had the same spacing as the existing ones.  It took him about an hour to add the stitch to the baseball.He hypothesized that the extra stitch would cause the ball to travel further. He was right. After a series of tests, he found his baseball traveled 2.26 percent, or about 2.8 additional meters, farther than a standard ball. “I used a pitching machine to simulate the flight, and I put it in at different alignments,” Svetin said. “When the stitch was vertical it went the furthest.” He said this means that the ball could cause more homeruns, depending on how the bat hit the ball. After all, the  2.8 additional meters the altered ball travels could be the difference between outfield and over-the-fence. He added that the new ball could also affect the velocity or movement of the pitch. Svetin thought about patenting his game-changing invention, but decided not to. “I don’t think anybody will change the baseball,” he said. “Nobody has changed the baseball in 50-something years.”The Young Scientist Challenge asked middle school students to submit “a new or innovative solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem related to how we live, how we work or how we play,” according the challenge’s website. It also asked for a short video featuring the inventor and his or her item. In Svetin’s video, he explained how he altered the baseball and his findings after taking it to the field. “This new ball could create even more excitement in the game of baseball around the world,” Svetin explained to the judges in the video. But beyond baseball, Svetin is adding excitement to the community. His mom, Kimberly Svetin, said an accomplishment like this reflects well on the middle and high schools. This was Erik Svetin’s second science fair entry he’s entered. His first one was about monitoring refrigerators, but he said he enjoyed inventing with his baseball better. As he does more research, he’ll decide if his future inventions will be a continuation of his baseball, or if he’ll take a swing at something new. Supporters can check out Svetin’s invention and recognition by visiting youngscientistchallenge.com.

 

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