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Thursday, June 18, 2015

10+ Resources for Learning About the Math and Science of Sports

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a proponent of getting kids involved in physical activities like bicycling, skiing, and playing team sports. I also like to see connections made between students' interest in sports and lessons in the classroom. The resources below can all be used to create lessons connected to students' interests in sports.

The Science of NFL Football is a series of ten videos from NBC Learn explaining and demonstrating math and science concepts as they relate to football. The list of topics covered in the Science of NFL Football includes Torque & Center of Mass, Pythagorean Theorem, Geometric Shapes, Projectile Motion & Parabolas, Vectors, Kinematics, Nutrition, and Newton's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Laws of Motion. Every video in the Science of NFL Football is accompanied by a lesson plan appropriate for use in middle school classrooms.

In addition to the NFL Football lessons, NBC Learn offers lessons on golf, skiing, skating, swimming, and running.

If you have students who are interested in hockey, the following videos from Smarter Everyday could offer a good way to get students interested in thinking about the science of hockey.





Physics World offers three video lessons on the science of cycling, swimming, and running.

The Open University offers a playlist of video lessons about the science of bicycling. That playlist is embedded below.


Exploratorium has a little feature called the Science of Baseball. The Science of Baseball is a bit dated in its looks, but it still has some nice resources that can help students understand how a bit of science and mathematics is involved in the game. The Science of Baseball includes video and audio clips of baseball players and scientists explaining how the weather affects the flight of the ball, the physics of various pitches, and reaction times to thrown and batted baseballs.

ESPN's Sport Science has a handful of little resources about the science of baseball. One of those resources is Anatomy of a Pitch. In Anatomy of a Pitch seven pitchers from the Arizona Diamondbacks explain how they throw their signature pitches. Each explanation includes slow motion footage and the pitchers explaining the release points, finger positioning, leg uses, and rotations involved in each their pitches.

Two TED-Ed Lessons that I've recently featured are about Michael Jordan's hang time and the physics of kicking a soccer ball. Both videos are embedded below.