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"Science of Sports" Guide & Resources

In this episode of Frontiers we investigate the science of sports. Find out how a little knowledge of physics could double your batting an innovative spring in a sneaker could revolutionize sports and make you a faster runner...why mountain climbing can be dangerous to your health, and how hi-tech sailboats travel faster than the wind. Here are the topics and running times of stories on this show and a brief description of related activities in this online teaching guide:

  • Spring Man (running time: 12:40) -- Injured in a mountain-climbing accident, Hugh Herr plans to run in sneakers of his own design. Activity: Investigate energy transformations. Report from the Field: A conversation with Hugh Herr.

  • Better Baseball (running time: 13:10) -- An Ohio inventor applies the laws of physics to give batters strategies that could double their averages. Activity: Find out why a curve ball curves and why catchers wear padding.
    Report from the Field: Retired science teacher John Garver talks about life as an inventor.

  • Speed Sailing (running time: 13:49) -- Trying to move faster than the wind, two sailors design vessels that stretch the limits of physical forces. Activity: Design and race a "landspeeder."


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.