Science of NHL Hockey

Science of NHL Hockey

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Have you ever wondered how hockey players, or anyone on ice skates for that matter, manages to stay upright? Or, how about the movement of the puck on the ice? And, how is it that goalies are able to anticipate which way the puck will go and prevent opponents from scoring? These videos, created by NBC in partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Science Foundation, feature interviews with athletes, coaches, and experts who explain the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics behind the game of hockey.

The science is broken down by capturing the athletes' movements with a state-of-the-art, high-speed camera, which has the ability to capture movement at rates of up to 1500 frames per second. This allows frame-by-frame illustrations of Newton's Three Laws of Motion, geometry, velocity, and other scientific concepts. The transcripts are viewable by clicking on the tab on the right side of the video viewer. The videos average about five minutes in length and feature the athletes involved in the individual sports as well as interviews with scientists who explain some of the scientific concepts involved in the sports. The ten titles in the series are:

  • Newton's Three Laws of Motion
  • Kinematics
  • Hockey Geometry
  • Vectors
  • Statistics & Averages
  • Mass, Volume & Density
  • Work, Energy & Power
  • Force, Impulse & Collisions
  • Reflexes & Reaction Time
  • Projectile Motion

Going Further

For Educators

The videos can be used to connect hockey with science concepts currently being studied in your classroom. For example, you can use the video on projectile motion to help introduce or complement a lesson on motions and forces. You could have your students design and carry out an investigation to measure linear and angular velocity or perhaps they could design and carry out an investigation to determine the shape of a projectile’s path.

Each video has a transcript as well as links to two lessons: one at the 6-8 grade level and one at the 9-12 grade level. You can make use of these lessons in your classroom or check out some of the Science NetLinks' resources listed here.

Putting the Ice in Hockey
6-8 |
Seeing Eye to Eye with the Umpire
6-8 | Hands-On
Sun & Skin
9-12 | Interactive
Football and Artificial Intelligence
6-12 | Audio
Science at the Olympics
9-12 | Website

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