A Gold Medal Activity for ChemClubs


The 2014 Winter Olympics is a celebration of the world’s best athletes. Over 80 countries and 2,500 competitors will participate in seven sports and nearly 100 events.

Many of us love to watch the traditional sports such as ski jumping or hockey, but this year there are a dozen new sports.  Among the new events is Slopestyle skiing, which features skiing backwards, grinding on rails and circus-quality flips.

The good news for science teachers is a new video series that explores STEM content of the winter games.

The video series—The Science and Engineering of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games—was produced by a partnership of NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation National Science Foundation (NSF). The result is a series of high-interest STEM videos to use as part of your regular classroom or as part of a ChemClub meeting. Each video is around 5 minutes long and full of science and engineering design concepts. The videos feature one or two athletes and weave their stories into the science and technology that supports their quest for medals.

Topics include:

    Man snow skiing

  • Stablity and Vibration in Alpine Skiing
  • Shaun White and Engineering the Half Pipe
  • Science of Ice
  • Science of Snow
  • Nick Goepper and the Physics of Slopestyle Skiing
  • And more

There are also lesson plans and activities from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The series is available cost-free on www.NBCLearn.com and www.science360.gov.

There is no better lesson than to show students how chemistry works in their everyday lives.  If you decide to use this series you can take satisfaction in the possibility that although students might be watching the skill of the Slalom ski racers, they could be thinking all about science!