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(Football & Back-to-School) vs. (School & Back-to-Football)

NBC Learn (NBC News' educational entity), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Football League (NFL) have joined together to celebrate the football season as an important part of the start of a school year.

This odd-trio has released an on-line video series called the "Science of NFL Football." Each of the 10 videos explores some aspect of the science or mathematics underlying the game of football. Relevant highlight clips from NFL games enliven every video, complemented by slow-motion, high-speed camerawork that provides frame-by-frame illustration of the connections involved.

As a new video was released each week, it was accompanied by lesson plans and aligned to national state education standards. The videos are available at no-cost on the NSF website, the www.NBCLearn website, or the science360.gov website. I suggest starting with the first option.

Some sample videos to provide a taste of the content:

  • Vectors as related to a quarterback's passes
  • Projectile Motion and Parabolas as related to a punter's kick
  • Kinematics (Position, Velocity, and Acceleration) as related to a running backs moves
  • Geometric Shapes (Spheres, Ellipses and Prolate Spheroids) as related to the football's shape
  • Pythagorean Theorem as related to path a defender takes to intercept a runner
Teachers desiring lesson plans for each video need to search the Lessonpoly.org website.

With each video, NSF encourages you to read the associated information, including the substantial commentary by other viewers or users.

Note: Somehow I missed the associated video series Science of the Olympic Winter Games, which was released last year and follows the same model.