Science and Engineering Videos from NBC Learn

by Kristin Steingreaber, GPAEA Media Specialist

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Tap into global focus on the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, with Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games – 10 original NBC Learn videos that explain the physics, engineering, chemistry and mathematics of the most popular Winter Olympic sports.

These videos, narrated by NBC Sports anchor Liam McHugh, feature some of the world’s top Olympic athletes, and the research of leading NSF-supported scientists. Each episode is available cost-free to teachers, students and the public at NBC Learn K-12 along with engineering-focused lesson plans for middle- and high-school teachers developed by the National Science Teachers Association.

New videos in this series include:

SHAUN WHITE & ENGINEERING THE HALF PIPE  — What gives Olympian snowboarder Shaun White enough speed to propel him high into the air for his spectacular, gravity-defying tricks? The engineering and design of the half-pipe.

PHYSICS OF FIGURE SKATING — Olympic figure skaters Evan Lysacek, Gracie Gold, and Ashley Wagner, and ice dancers Meryl Davis, and Charlie White show how ice skating is physics set to music.

SCIENCE OF ICE — Speed skating, figure skating, curling, hockey – all take place on the unique surface of ice. Olympic speed skaters J.R. Celski and Britanny Bowe and figure skater  Gracie Gold help explain what makes ice hard, yet slippery on the surface.

SCIENCE OF SNOW — Alpine, skiing, snowboarding and Nordic events in the Winter Games are all held on snow. Olympic alpine racer Ted Ligety and freestyle moguls skier Heather McPhie help explain how snow is formed and how it reacts.

NICK GOEPPER & THE PHYSICS OF SLOPESTYLE SKIING — See how the laws of physics and rotational motion factor into this debut Winter Olympic event, and efforts by 2013 World Champion slopestyle skier Nick Goepper to win gold.

STABILITY & VIBRATION DAMPING IN ALPINE SKIING — U.S. Olympic alpine skier Julia Mancuso and Paralympic alpine skiing champion Heath Calhoun show how the engineering and design of their skis control the vibrations that impact speed and performance.

BUILDING FASTER & SAFER BOBSLEDS — Olympic bobsledders Steve Langton and Steve Holcomb help explain and demonstrate the advances in design and engineering that are making bobsleds faster and tracks safer.

SHANI DAVIS & ENGINEERING COMPETITION SUITS  — At the 2014 Winter Games, long track speed skater and repeat Olympic Gold Medalist Shani Davis will be wearing one of the most advanced competition suits ever engineered.

INJURY & RECOVERY — While on course to defend her downhill gold medal, alpine skiing champion Lindsey Vonn suffered a devastating knee injury, tearing her ACL. Pioneering research in tissue regeneration could engineer L-C ligaments, get athletes like Vonn back into competition faster, and reduce recovery time for all those with ACL injuries.

OLYMPIC MOVEMENT & ROBOTIC DESIGN — No robot yet built can equal the flexibility, fluidity, balance and movement of Olympic athletes such as ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, hockey player Julie Chu, and alpine ski racer Ted Ligety — but researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are working to develop bio-inspired “robo-athletes.”

See other Emmy Award-winning video series produced in partnership with NSF: Science of the Winter Olympics,Science of the Summer OlympicsScience of NFL FootballScience of NHL HockeyScience Behind The NewsChanging PlanetSustainability: Water, and Chemistry Now.

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