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Sports Science Project Ideas (57 results)

Top athletes and coaches use a whole lot of science and engineering to improve performance and increase the chances of winning. Technologies like better tennis rackets, sleeker running and swimming outfits, and aerodynamic soccer balls, mean that current athletes are breaking world records left and right. Add to that better nutrition and science-based training regimes and you have an era of amazing athletes! Explore one of our sports science projects to see how science and engineering impact your favorite sport.

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Science Fair Project Idea
Do you like to watch the Olympics and see a new world record get set? Have you ever wondered how fast you'd need to go to achieve that world record? Well, in this sports science fair project, you'll find out how to compute speeds needed to achieve world records. Not only that, but you'll learn what speed is, and how to measure it in almost anything that moves! So head for the track, you're on a search for speed! Read more
Sports_p048
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Safety gear should always be worn when participating in sports. Choose a safe location at which to run your speed tests.
Science Fair Project Idea
What do Nolan Ryan, Mark Wohlers, Armando Benitez, and Roger Clemens have in common? These men are all major league baseball pitchers who have pitched baseballs at 100 miles per hour or greater! What does it take to throw a baseball this fast? Does it come down to having the biggest muscles? Can a ball thrown this fast also be accurate? In this sports science fair project, you will learn about the biomechanics of pitching. Investigate how body position and physics interact to produce fast… Read more
Sports_p053
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should do this sports science fair project in a location where you can tie a clothesline either between two trees or two poles. Since you will be throwing a baseball, make sure that the location is away from windows and other breakable structures.
Material Availability You must have access to a camcorder and baseball equipment. Make sure that the camcorder has a timer and the ability to display the recording in slow motion.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Many sports use a ball in some way or another. We throw them, dribble them, hit them, kick them, and they always bounce back! What makes a ball so bouncy? In this experiment you can investigate the effect of air pressure on ball bouncing. Read more
Sports_p007
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
How much difference does the spiraling motion of a well-thrown football make on the distance of the throw (compared to wobbling, or end-over-end motion of the ball)? Think of a way to reproducibly produce the desired ball motion and launch it with a constant force to find out. (For more information on the physics, see Gay, 2004.) Read more
Sports_p028
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever noticed that when you drop a basketball, its bounce does not reach the height you dropped it from? Why is that? When a basketball bounces, such as on a basketball court, its bounce actually loses momentum by transferring energy elsewhere. This means that to dribble the basketball, players must continually replace the transferred energy by pushing down on the ball. But what happens to the "lost" energy? As we know from physics, energy is not really lost, it just changes form. One… Read more
Sports_p038
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Must be able to dribble a basketball 100 times in a row quickly.
Material Availability An infrared thermometer is required to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details on where to buy one.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You are right next to the basket and someone passes you the ball. Will you go for a direct shot or will you use the backboard and take a bank shot at the basket? Would different positions on the court give you a higher chance of making a shot using the backboard than others, even when keeping the distance from the hoop the same? In this science project, you will build a scale model and test different positions on the court to determine if one results in a better chance of making a bank shot… Read more
Sports_p024
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the craft or utility knife.
Science Fair Project Idea
When watching a football game, have you ever wondered why some kicks lead to a successful field goal and others do not? There are a lot of variables at play in a game of football, and many of them are related to physics. One variable that can affect whether a field goal is successful is distance. In this science project, you will explore how field goal success rate is affected by distance from the goalposts. What will be the best distance for you to kick some field goals? Grab a football, head… Read more
Sports_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Access to a football field with goalposts is required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Be sure to warm up and stretch before making a lot of football kicks.
Science Fair Project Idea
Your heart starts beating before you are born and keeps right on going through your whole life. Over an average lifetime, the human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times. Keeping your heart healthy means eating right, not smoking, and getting regular exercise. Which of your favorite physical activities give your heart the best workout and help keep it fit? In this science project, you will use Google's app with your smartphone or tablet to visualize your heart rate and find out which… Read more
Sports_p006
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Must be able to exercise vigorously
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
If you have a multi-speed bike, you know that you can make it easier or harder to pedal just by shifting gears. Ever wonder how that works? You can investigate this a number of ways. A basic approach is to use a selection of spools of thread (with different diameters), a board with two nails, and a rubber band. Place a spool over each nail, and put the rubber band over them. Mark the 12:00 position on each spool so that you can count revolutions. Turn one spool through a full circle and… Read more
Sports_p025
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Science Fair Project Idea
If you ride a bike, you probably know that you have to occasionally pump up the tires to keep them fully inflated. Over a long period of time, the tires slowly leak air, so their pressure will decrease. Have you ever noticed that it is actually harder to ride a bike when the tire pressure is too low? This is because the tires are a big factor in the rolling resistance of the bike. In this sports science project, you will measure how tire pressure affects the force required to move a bike. How… Read more
ApMech_p029
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a bike with training wheels and a special spring scale to measure force. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Only do this science project in a safe area where there are no cars, like a playground or a sidewalk. Do not do this science project in a street or parking lot. The volunteer riding the bike must wear a bike helmet.
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