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Athletes Making Sports Connections

Last week, the reviewed web sites provided connections specific to mathematics and basketball. In case you are not interested in basketball, it is important that one specific web site be re-mentioned.

ESPN Sports Figures has two goals (in addition to advertising their product). First, they want to "provides an athlete's perspective into the subjects of math and physics." Second, they want to "increase students' interests and supplement your teaching tools with innovative programs that students can apply and understand."

Each of the fourteen lessons is based on a video of a sports figure, who discusses their view of math/physics connections and illustrates how different aspects of these connections relate to their sport. Some examples:

  • Jeanette Lee in Reflecting on Billiards, which involves the reflection of light, reflection of balls off pool cushions, and congruent triangles
  • Troy Glaus in The Math Reaction, which looks at baseball pitching via graphing, data analysis, and velocity
  • MaliVai Washington in Tennis Triangle, which involves similar triangles, ratio, scale diagrams, motion, and gravity
  • Kenyon Martin in The Hoop Variable, which involves graphing, data analysis, and velocity relative to shooting a basketball
  • Travis Brown in The Gear Game, which involves bicycling via work, torque, ratios, fractions, decimals, levers, and gears
Unfortunately, there are no videos discussing number sense via understanding of athletes' large salaries.

You can watch and use parts of the on-line videos in your classrom. The preferred option might be to order the SportsFigures curriculum guide, which includes background information, discussion questions, activity sheets, and suggestions for extending the lessons. The web site has a form for ordering the seven video set for $40.00.