Nov. 23, 2010

The Science of Football

by Leslie Taylor

'Tis the season to sit with the family in front of the TV, digesting a large meal and enjoying some football. You just might be able to sneak some science discussions with your children into the commercial breaks. NBC Learn, in partnership with the National Science Foundation and National Football League, has produced a 10-part Web video series that uses the professional football to illustrate key scientific ideas. Videos address concepts such as Newton's first law of motion, the Pythagorean theorum, and projectile motion.

For example, in a video about kinematics, NBC's Lester Holt and former NFL running back Deuce McAllister, along with scientists Tony Schmitz from the University of Florida and John Ziegert of Clemson University, explain concepts of position, velocity, and acceleration.

Check out the videos at

Teachers and homeschoolers, you can find formal lesson plans at

Related articles available at Scientific American.

About Leslie Taylor

Leslie is the online editor at and She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be. She is also Science Friday's former web editor.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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