Summer Olympics Science
The world’s best athletes will meet during the summer of 2016 to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio. Learn how chemistry plays a role in sports, what Olympic medals are made of, how an “Olympic ring” molecule gets put together, what is done to detect doping in athletes, and more.
- STEM Challenges
Step up and choose your challenge. Catch the drugs cheats. Design a special wetsuit for paratriathletes. Develop a sports venue.
- Water Olympics
Become a chemistry Olympian as you learn about the properties of water. Will you win the gold in the Amazing Water Race?
- Measurement Olympics
You won’t find these events in Rio, but how about your elementary school? Learn measurement through the Olympic Death Grip, Olympic Smiles, and more.
- Glory or Turmoil: Teaching and Learning About Brazil and the Summer Olympics
Participating in the Olympics can be a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Are there factors that would convince an athlete to decide to stay home?
- Summer Olympic Games Science
Just hundredths or thousandths of a second can separate first and second place. Check your reaction time with this activity.
- Molympics—A Collaborative Project Between HS Teachers and Students
By October the Olympics will be over, but the Molympics will just be starting. Make your students champions of Mole Day learning and collaborate with students across the U.S.
- Green Tiles: Renewable Energy One Step at a Time
Step onto a green energy tile, then step into more study about energy.
- The Olympic Flame: Chemistry Held High
The Olympic torches have a lot of miles to cover. See what keeps them burning bright.
- Olympic Torch Tech
How much can the torch take? High winds? An accidental fumble? Underwater travel?
- Rio 2016 Olympic Torch
Recycled aluminum, with an expanding design. Get a look at the latest torch with this infographic.
- Science at the Olympics
What can give athletes a competitive edge? Would you believe ice? Your brain? Learn more!
- What Are Olympic Medals Made of?
We hate to break it to you, but gold doesn’t necessarily mean gold. Find out what’s in the medal you see on the podium.
- Are Gold Medals Really Gold?
Yes. And no. You’ll find gold on the outside, thanks to chemistry and electroplating.
- Sports Doping Detection a Never-Ending Science
Tracking performance-enhancing drugs in athletes needs to keep up with new compounds, some designed to be untraceable.
- Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports: How Chemists Catch Users
Take a look at some of the types of illegal drugs in use and the types of chemistry detection tools that can catch them.
- Dow in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Dow Chemical is an Olympic Partner. What does chemistry bring to the track, pool, and more?
- Studies Find "Super Bacteria" in Rio's Olympic Venues
What’s happening with bacteria at the beach? See how it may affect Olympic athletes.
- Water Quality for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
Athletes and tourists alike will be interested to read how Rio’s water quality is being measured.
- Zika Has People Freaked Out About the Olympics. But Experts Aren't Worried
Should athletes break out the bug spray? Or just stay home? Learn about Zika and its possible effect on Rio.
- Chemistry in Sport
Check out the molecule Olympicene, learn about a past global experiment with sports drinks, and find out more about how chemistry relates to sports.
- Exploratorium Sports Science
It’s a link to some links—the science of hockey, baseball, cycling, running, and more.
- The Twisted Physics of 5 Olympic Sports
Can you guess these five sports where physics plays a huge role?
- What Will Sports Look Like in the Future?
As science and sports continue to intersect, how will athletes and competitions change?
- Don't Be a Dope!
The message at the last Olympics was, “We’ll catch you.” Learn how the lab keeps the playing field level.
- Materials Science for Athletes and Couch Potatoes
Participating in the Olympics from your armchair? See how materials science can help you out for optimum snacking.
- Can China Control the Weather?
Olympic organizers are looking for perfect conditions. See what they did at a past Olympics in Beijing.
All sites accessed June 2016