National Science Foundation, NBC News and NBC Olympics launch video series highlighting top Olympic athletes and the technology that impacts their games
The Olympians from Team USA heading to London in July represent not only an American commitment to athletic achievement, but also the pervasive impact of innovation.
From the devices that protect the athletes, to the mechanisms that track their races, to the systems that help them train, technologies created and guided by engineers are critical components of the Olympic experience.
For the London 2012 Olympic Games, the National Science Foundation (NSF), NBC Learn (the educational arm of NBC News) and NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, are launching a series of ten videos highlighting the engineering that is part of the Olympics, as told by top athletes and engineers. Watch all ten videos on the NSF website and on NSF's Science360 website.
Titled Science of the Summer Olympics: Engineering in Sports, the series is a continuation of the Emmy-winning NSF-NBC "Science of ... " partnership.
"The work of engineers not only affects Olympic sports, it also helps us perform ordinary activities in better ways," said Thomas Peterson, NSF assistant director for Engineering. "This series will illustrate how engineers can impact both sports and society, and we hope it will inspire young people to pursue engineering."
Each segment features a top athlete sharing his or her sports experiences, paired with perspectives from leading engineers about the technologies that aid the athletes or the mechanics that explain their craft.
"Science of the Summer Olympics: Engineering In Sports,” the fourth and latest installment in the “Science of Sports” franchise, explores the science, engineering and technology that are helping athletes maximize their performance at the 2012 London Games. Watch each video and discuss with students the following iniating questions.
How does swimmer Missy Franklin use the principles of fluid dynamics to move more quickly through water?
What are the unique biomechanics that have helped make sprinter Usain Bolt the world’s fastest human?
What does weightlifter Sarah Robles have in common with a high-tech robot?
How do engineers build faster pools, stronger safety helmets, and specialized wheelchairs for disabled athletes?
The video segments feature some of the world's top athletes and record holders, including:
Missy Franklin, swimmer
Queen Underwood, boxer
Sarah Robles, weightlifter
Jenny Simpson, runner
Oscar Pistorius, runner
Usain Bolt, runner
Bryan Clay, decathlete
Each segment also features engineers from some of the world's top universities and institutions:
Timothy Wei, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Anette (Peko) Hosoi, MIT
Rory Cooper, University of Pittsburgh and 1988 Paralympics bronze medalist
Nikhil Gupta, NYU-Poly
Linda Milor, Georgia Tech
Brian Zenowich, Barrett Technologies
Samuel Hamner, Stanford University
Cris Pavloff, Advanced Technology Engineer for BMW
Melvin Ramey, University of California-Davis and Biomechanist for USA Track & Field
Phil Cheetham, Senior Sport Technologist for the US Olympic Committee