Science of the Winter Olympics: Science of Ice

The phrase “a level playing field” has a lot of different meanings. But for the skaters, curlers, hockey players, lugers, and bobsledders in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games it means just one thing—ICE. And how is it that all of these athletes can slip and slide over such a surface? Watch Science of Ice from the latest NBC Learn video collection crafted with partner NSF to see if your thinking aligns with current ideas!

The Science and Engineering of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games is a collection of ten short videos focused on the science and engineering design efforts behind Olympic and Paralympic athletes and the tools that each hopes will help them bring home the gold. Use the NSTA-developed lesson plans, available in editable Word format, to spark ideas for incorporating the videos into your course. You’ll find suggestions for activities ranging from bellringers to full-fledged hands-on inquiries.

To get started, watch the video, available cost-free on www.NBCLearn.com and www.science360.gov. Link to it and the downloadable lesson plans at the links below. The Integration Guide suggests strategies for detailing the STEM concepts of the video while the Inquiry Guide supplies BOTH a hands-on science inquiry AND a hands-on engineering design inquiry.

With Miami barely reaching the 60s today and most of the country much colder, there’s no better time than now to shiver your way through Science of Ice. Take a look and leave a comment to let us know what you think!

Video

Science of Ice discusses some of the physical and chemical properties of solid water—ice—and how this substance is produced to optimize performance for a particular ice sport.

Lesson Plans

Science of Ice Integration Guide spells out the STEM in the video and gives you mini-activities and ideas for research, teamwork, projects, and interdisciplinary connections.

Science of Ice Inquiry Guide models a science inquiry into the structure of ice and freezing point depression AND models an engineering design inquiry in which students solve a problem related to the qualities of ice in rinks.

Image of the 2010 gold medalist, Yuna Kim, who will compete in Sochi. Photo courtesy of Queen Yuna.

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