« Assessment Group Seeks Feedback on College-Readiness Definition | Main | Federal Aid for Literacy Programs Makes Comeback »

Videos Draw on Olympic Sports for Engineering Lessons

Some swimmers, runners, and other athletes gearing up for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London have gotten a little help from engineers to improve their performance.

Olympics1_Blog (2).jpg

The National Science Foundation and NBC have produced a new set of 10 videos intended to bring engineering to life for America's youth by highlighting these and other intersections between Olympic athletes and the discipline. (I previously blogged about a similar effort pegged to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.)

"The work of engineers not only affects Olympic sports, it also helps us perform ordinary activities in better ways," said Thomas Peterson, the NSF's assistant director for engineering, in a press release. "This series will illustrate how engineers can impact both sports and society, and we hope it will inspire young people to pursue engineering."

The series, narrated by NBC Sports Group's Liam McHugh, covers a variety of topics. For instance, as the press release explains, viewers will learn how swimmer Missy Franklin cuts through water faster thanks to specially-engineered pools, how a stereoscopic-camera system helps Olympic decathlete Bryan Clay improve his long jump, and how "blades" technology assists Paralympian Oscar Pistorius compete against able-bodied runners in the Olympic Games.

Another video explains how engineering advances have helped to design head gear for boxers, cyclists, and equestrian competitors that maximize safety and performance.

The series also examines the "biomechanics" of athletes—from the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, to weightlifter Sarah Robles (pictured above)—and how technology still has much to learn from human achievement.

Photo credit: Robles lifts 246.9 pounds during the women's weightlifting competition at the Pan American Games last October in Guadalajara, Mexico. Arnulfo Franco/AP-File

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Linda: My problem with homework is they give too much and read more
  • Seo Article Writer: Hello I just see your site when I am searching read more
  • Car Insurance Guy: Ah!!! at last I found what I was looking for. read more
  • cyptoreopully: Hey there everyone i was just introduceing myself here im read more
  • Connie Wms: Good grief. We have gone round and round forever with read more