Physics of Sports Project Description

Objective:

Read about how physics is involved in the sport of your choice and perform some experiments or analysis relating to your sport as well.

Equipment:

I have a lot of different equipment that you can use for this project.  Radar gun (for 10mi/h - 110mi/h), force plate (measuring forces of large pushes or jumping), high speed cameras, software for video analysis, air pumps, pressure gauges,...  Feel free to ask and I can see how my "toys" can help you accomplish your tasks.

Schedule:

Week 1:

  1. Do some research into your sport.  Record both where you look and what you find while doing research.
  2. Pick a physics of sports book for your sport to read.  Record why you chose this book.  If we don't have a book for your sport or the book you'd like, talk to Mr. Falk.  We may have money in the budget to buy the book for you.  Of course we'd keep it for future students when your project is done.  Amazon.com is a good place to look.
  3. In your journal, write down what controlled variables, manipulated variables, and responding variables are.  
  4. Try to start thinking of some experiments you could do.  Record your ideas.
  5. If we have a book for you, start reading it.  Like your research in #1 (above), record what you're reading and what you're learning.

Week 2:

  1. Keep researching, learning, and recording what you're learning.
  2. Read any articles or chapters that might help you devise an experiment.  Note liberally in your record.
  3. Start to narrow down the experiment(s) you plan to do.
  4. If you need equipment for your experiment, talk to Mr. Falk.
  5. If you can get started on the week 3 & 4 requirements, go for it!

Week 3 & 4:

  1. Keep learning how physics relates to your sport.  Record what you're reading and learning in your record.
  2. Make a final choice on what you will experiment on.  Record the controlled, manipulated, and responding variables.
  3. Run your experiment(s).  Deal with any hurdles that you may encounter while doing the experiment.
  4. Produce a report on at least one of your experiments.  Include your question, hypothesis, procedure, data, and conclusions.  Your report could be in the form of a paper, presentation, or video.

Week 5:

  1. Have your report looked over by an expert in the sport of your choice and someone with a great understanding of physics. 
  2. Report on what these people said about your experiment and report.
  3. Fill up any remaining time by running additional experiments or doing additional research.