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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
This project can apply to soccer, hockey, baseball and many other sports. What is the effect of stopping the kick/shot/swing at the moment of impact vs. following through? Think of a way to measure the outcome in each case, and explain your results. (idea from Gardner, 2000, 83-85; for more information with regard to specific sports, see: Barr, 1990, 12-14; Gay, 2004, 142-144; Adair, 2002, 30.) Read more
Sports_p034
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever ridden on a Roller Racer® or PlasmaCar®? These are ride-on toys that you move ahead by moving the steering mechanism back and forth. You've probably seen skateboarders "slaloming" on level ground to keep rolling, it's basically the same idea. This project explores the physics behind this method of locomotion. Read more
Sports_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No hazards
Science Fair Project Idea
Like to have the balance of a tightrope walker? Try the more close–to–the–ground balancing test in this easy experiment to learn a few trade secrets of the high wire experts. In this project, you'll find your center of gravity and explore the physics of balance at the same time. No net required for this balancing act! Read more
Sports_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
So baseball's your game? Well, slugger, science and math abound in baseball. Just look at the zillions of "stats." In this project, you can produce some interesting baseball statistics of your own and perhaps settle a long-standing debate. You'll set up experiments at your local playing field to find out which type of bat is better, wood or aluminum. Play ball, and batter up! Read more
Sports_p016
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
Instant cold packs are popular with coaches and parents for treating minor bumps and bruises. The instant cold packs are not pre-cooled—you just squeeze the cold pack and its starts to get cold. So how does it work? In this chemistry science fair project, you will investigate the chemical reaction that occurs in instant cold packs. Read more
Chem_p081
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A few specialty items, including instant cold packs containing ammonium nitrate, are needed.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Ammonium nitrate is potentially hazardous, wear gloves and safety goggles when working with it. Avoid contact with skin and eyes.
Science Fair Project Idea
Use a video camera to analyze the angle of lift with different clubs. Measure the distance the ball travels. Be sure to conduct a sufficient number of trials with each club so that your results are consistent. This can also be a great way to work on your swing! (Idea from Goodstein, 1999, 83-85.) Read more
Sports_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
"Ay Yaah!" echoes across the room while a loud "thud" signals a powerful kick striking the kick bag. Sound familiar? If the discipline, precision, and power of martial arts is your bag, try this project out for size. You won't be sparring with any opponent other than a swinging kick bag, but you'll learn a few powerful lessons about the physics of efficient kicking. No black belts required; just bring your best form and work up a little sweat while you use your feet to do fun science. Read more
Sports_p020
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Speciality items (kick bag)
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
Skateboarder alert: Extreme performance needed in this project. Dude, you can cruise and carve while you investigate which skateboard wheels produce the fastest (and slowest) rides on your terrain in these experiments. You pick the wheels and design the tests you think will produce the most extreme results for speed and turns. Do this project and you can work on your ride and learn some science about the speed, spin, and design of skateboard wheels. Read more
Sports_p018
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
You can model this with an ice cube sliding down a plank: how high do you need to lift the end of the plank before the ice cube starts to slide? Try this with one side plain wood and the flip side waxed wood (use paraffin wax, candle wax or ski wax). Make sure both sides are equally smooth to start with. Do at least three trials. More advanced: using what you know about the forces acting on the ice cube, derive equations to calculate the coefficient of friction for each case. Variation:… Read more
Sports_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
If you're an avid golfer, this might be a fun project for you. When you're setting up to tee off out on the course, how much attention do you pay to putting the tee in the ground? The height of the tee can affect both where in the swing the club makes contact and where on the clubface the ball makes contact. Are you placing your tees at the right height to get the most distance from your swing? Read more
Sports_p014
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You must be an experienced golfer to do this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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