SciLinks and sports

Connecting scientific principles to student interests is a way of showing students how science relates to “real life.” Earlier this year, the Winter Olympics provided a context for studying the physics of winter sports. And with the 2010 World Cup taking place in June, soccer (or “football” as it’s called in many parts of the world) will be in the spotlight.
Lift, force, drag, friction, Newton’s Laws—many concepts in physics are applicable in soccer (whether a player is an amateur or can bend it like Beckham). Here are some SciLinks sites that show students how physics relates to this sport: Physics of FootballScience Puts Extra Spin on Soccer, If You Can’t Bend It, Model It, Soccer (includes a video from PBS Kids). And read about Carnegie Mellon University’s Soccer Playing Robots.
For additional website on science and sports, check out SciLinks for Energy and Sports for 5–8 and 9–12 (there is a lot of overlap). For example, Sport Science from the Exploratorium Museum has sections on baseball, skateboarding, surfboarding, hockey, and cycling. And if you’re ready for some beach activity, check out the Science of Surfing.

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