The Science of Sports: Teach, Learn, and Celebrate with the London 2012 Olympics

The Summer Olympics are in full swing! The 2012 games are being held in London, England and are welcoming athletes from 204 countries to compete in 26 sports. And did you know that there is a lot of science that goes into sports and athletics? Celebrate this international event Science NetLinks-style with some of our favorite resources that tie in with a few of the sports at the Olympics.

Kick off with our Reaching for Olympic Glory Collection, which features a host of resources, as well as the Science at the Olympics Tool which showcases a spread from Science magazine that was published during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Meanwhile, the Sports Drinks Science Update takes a look at the sugary beverages marketed to athletes and separates fact from fiction.

Dive into the aquatics events — swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, and diving — with the Fastest Swimsuit Science Update, which discusses a high-tech swimsuit that scientists created to help reduce drag on a swimmer’s body. And check out our Buoyant Boats Lesson to explore the science behind the canoeing, sailing, and rowing events.

Take a look at field hockey’s colder cousin, ice hockey (which isn’t an Olympic sport), with the resources from the Bring the Science of NHL Hockey into Your Classroom! post from the SNL Educator blog. For the equestrian events, learn about how horses’ amazing bones are inspiring engineers to design similar air- and spacecraft parts with the Horse Bones Science Update. And give a nod to the cycling events by teaching the concept of a system and how it works with our lesson, The Bicycle as a System.

And last but not least, take a look at the Sprinter Feet and Sprinter Advantage Science Updates to see how runners in the athletics events — including hurdles, steeplechase, relay, marathon, and races 100 to 10,000 meters long — can benefit from genetic advantages that affect their feet as well as from their starting positions in a race.

No matter your sport of choice, have fun cheering on the amazing athletes at the Olympics this summer!

PHOTO CREDIT: Clipart.com


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