Best of 2022 – The Science of Winter Olympic Sports
As I do at this time every year, I’m taking the week off to ski and play with my kids, shovel snow, and generally not think about work. I have some of the most popular posts of the year scheduled to republish this week. New posts will resume in the new year.
The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to start in a little less than one month from now. I’m looking forward to sitting on my couch and drinking some hot chocolate while watching the world’s best in alpine and Nordic skiing. I also enjoy watching curling even though I don’t always understand all of the rules of that game. There’s a whole lot of science behind all of the Winter Olympics events that we see on our screens. If you have students who are interested in the events, capitalize on that interest and share these Olympics-based science lessons with them.
The National Science Foundation offers a YouTube playlist of sixteen videos on the science of Winter Olympics events. These short videos teach lessons on the physics and engineering behind the events we see on television. The videos are a decade old, but the science concepts covered are just as relevant to these Olympic games as they were to previous Winter Olympics.
It’s hard to host skiing and snowboarding events without a lot of snow. That’s why a lot of the snow we’ll see on television during the Winter Olympics is human-made snow. How to Make Snow (If You’re Not Elsa)
is a short video produced by SciShow that explains how snow is made at ski resorts by using cooled water and compressed air.
In the United States NBC owns the rights to nearly all Olympics-related footage and logos which is why it’s a little disappointing that they don’t offer more student-focused resources than this PDF guide to the Winter Olympics
and some YouTube videos that aren’t well organized beyond this playlist
. I went through the NBC News Learn channel
and highlighted a few favorites and included them below.
Science of the Winter Olympics: Building Faster & Safer Bobsleds
Science of the Winter Olympics: Banking On Bobsled Speed
Sliding Down At 90 MPH: The Science Behind The Fastest Sport On Ice
Science of the Winter Olympics: The Science Friction of Curling
Science of the Winter Olympics: Figuring Out Figure Skating
Science of the Winter Olympics: The Science of Snowboarding
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