Science of golf: work, energy, power

Welcome to the Science of Golf! NBC Learn has partnered with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Chevron to bring you this video series highlighting the science, technology, engineering, and math behind the sport. And once again, NSTA has developed lesson plans to help you build on the videos as you carry out STEM initiatives in your middle- and high-school science courses.

Whether you’re a fan who follows Rory, Phil, Paula, and Suzann, a player yourself, or someone like my farmer father who says that hitting a little white ball around a pasture just doesn’t make much sense, the sport can bring STEM concepts to life for your students. Use the video Science of Golf: Work, Power, and Energy as a springboard for student investigations into these concepts. The lesson plan provides you with ideas and guidance on how to get started.

The videos are available cost-free on NSTA will also highlight each video in the series in this blog over the next weeks, within the Videos and Lessons category, and we hope you will try them out in the classroom. When you do, please leave comments below each posting about how well the information worked in real-world classrooms. And if you had to make significant changes to a lesson, we’d love to see what you did differently, as well as why you made the changes. Leave a comment, and we’ll get in touch with you with submission information.

–Judy Elgin Jensen

Image of putt courtesy of Michelle Hofstrand.


SOG: Work, Power, and Energy features professional golfer Suzann Pettersen and her putting prowess to show how work done on the ball changes energy from its potential to kinetic form.

STEM Lesson Plan—Adaptable for Grades 7–12

The lesson plan provides ideas for STEM exploration plus strategies to support students in their own quest for answers and as well as a more focused approach that helps all students participate in hands-on inquiry.

SOG: Work, Energy, and Power describes how students might investigate a question about how one might putt a golf ball and calculate energy gain or less and power delivered.

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