The Olympics, Speedskating, and Newton’s Laws of Motion

By Erik W. Robelen — January 15, 2010 1 min read
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I’m going to take a breather from all of the heavy policy, standards, and assessment stuff we’ve been dishing out lately to share something a little more fun this Friday afternoon.

As most of you must know, the Winter Olympics are fast approaching (running from Feb. 12-28), and several organizations have teamed up to explain the science behind those amazing athletic feats we’re to witness in Vancouver by way of a video series.

“How does angular momentum help figure skater Rachael Flatt achieve the perfect triple toe loop?” says a press release on the effort. “How does elastic collision allow three-time Olympic hockey player Julie Chu convert a game-winning slapshot? How do Newton’s Three Laws of Motion propel track speed skater J.R. Celski to the finish line?”

These are among the scientific principles explored in the 16-part series, a collaboration between the National Science Foundation, NBC Learn, and the NBC Olympics. One hope of the effort is that teachers might work it into classroom learning.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.