4 Football Science Projects for Super Bowl-Sized Learning
Try these four football-themed science projects for sports science fun as the Super Bowl approaches!
Four Football Science Projects for Super Bowl Week
Super Bowl Sunday is coming up! Super Bowl LVI will be played on February 13, 2022. Whether your hometown team is on the field or not, there is plenty of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in American football for sports enthusiasts to explore.
The following science fair projects and experiments help students investigate the physics behind perfect spirals, successful field goals, and more:
- Football Field Goals: Going the Distance: What's the best distance for a field goal attempt? Put the question to the test and see how gravity and air resistance affect the trajectory of a kick and how far the ball travels.
- Field Goal! The Science Behind a Perfect Football Kick: Use a rubber band-powered catapult to explore the projectile motion involved in kicking and what happens as distance from the goalposts changes.
- How Far Can You Throw (or Kick) a Ball?: A successful "Hail Mary" football pass doesn't just depend on the strength of the throw. Experiment to find out what angle has to do with the distance a ball travels.
- Measuring Concussion Risk in Football and Other Contact Sports: Experiment with "shock indicator" sensors mounted on helmets to see how much impact athletes experience during typical practices or games.
STEM Lesson Plans
Looking for guided lessons to connect classroom learning to the Super Bowl and sports science? Try these NGSS-aligned lessons using catapults for hands-on exploration of STEM variables related to football.
Data Analysis and Statistics in Student Science Projects
To learn more about analyzing data and statistics when conducting student science projects, see the Summarizing Your Data resource in the Project Guide. For an introduction to histograms for gathering and analyzing data, see The Results are In: Plotting Numerical Ranges. Students working on advanced projects, see Data Analysis for Advanced Science Projects.
Sports fans can explore science related to other favorite sports in Sports Science projects from Science Buddies. See also the Winter Olympics Science Experiments resource. With the Ping Pong Catapult, students can do multiple science experiments, including projects related to football and baseball.
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