Science of Summer Sports
Summertime is the perfect time to hit the pool, search out killer surf, or play some beach volleyball. Check out these links to connect science to your choice of summer sport, with a mix of experiments and articles. Use crayons and paint to explore why a surfer needs wax on his or her board. Investigate what helps make a swimmer a good floater in the water. Design your own indoor sports venue. Take your pick from these and more!
- Sink or Swim: Muscle Versus Fat
Are you a fantastic floater? Does it matter if you head to the indoor pool or the ocean? Explore some floater factors!
- Cookies, Diapers, and Chemical Engineering
What’s an “accidental insult” and how many of them can a swim diaper handle? Get ready for a diaper dissection.
- Wetsuits for Paratriathletes
Take the design challenge. How can you adapt a wetsuit to best serve a paratriathlete?
- Chemistry for the Gifted and Talented: Swimming Pool Chemistry
Pool water is serious chemistry! Equilibrium, buffers, NMR, and more.
- Pretreating Hair Before Going Swimming
It’s not easy being green. Take a look at this student project about preventing blonde hair from turning green in the pool.
- Swimming Pool Chemistry—Student Activities
Time to prep your pool for testing. It’s a little smaller than you might think… Ever see a 35-mm film canister?
- Pool Science: Maintaining Proper pH
Can you keep your mini-pool safe for swimmers? It’s all about the pH.
- Bathtub Science
Did you hear that? Or not? Test how well sound travels through water—a pool is the perfect place to find out.
- The Chemistry of Swimming Pools
Ah, the smell of summertime fun—chlorinated water. Learn the chemical how and why of swimming pool chlorination.
- Chemists Decree: Don't Pee in the Pool
There’s research to back up this decree. See why it’s good to listen to chemists in this case!
- Pool Chemistry: Backyard Perils and Experiments
pH. Alkalinity. Some of these pool terms aren’t what a chemist might think.
- Everyday Compounds: Sodium Hypochlorite
Got chlorine? Know how it got in your pool? This infographic can help.
- ChemMatters "Swimming Pools"
It’s all about the balance. Does your pool have it?
- What's That Stuff—Pool Chemicals
This article labels it a backyard experiment. The reagents? Chemicals to keep your pool sparkling. We hope.
- Soap Boat 2.0
This mini boat seems to make its own surf to ride, using the power of surface tension.
- Wacky Waxy Watercolors
Try this experiment that mixes crayons and watercolors, then consider why a surfer might need wax in the water.
- Furry Wetsuits
Beavers and otters provide the inspiration for these wetsuits that can help keep you warm in the water.
- Surf Science: Why It Matters
Thermodynamics, biomechanics… Surfing goes academic with these researchers.
- A Surfboard Made by a Rocket Scientist
This polymer can take you into space… or the surf.
- Have Surfers Discovered the Future of Sustainable Design?
This “wave of innovation” includes boards made from the sea.
- The Science of Surfing
Searching for the best wave? Science tech can help.
- How Surfing Helped These Scientists Make Waves
What does a scientist see in surfing? Listen to these three to find the attraction.
- Explain That Stuff: The Science of Surfing
Can science make you a better surfer? Question asked. Question answered.
- Teaching Science Through Surfing and Skateboarding
Kids learn through lab, then put that science into real world skills.
- Surfers Riding a Wave of New Technologies
Training using science and data can help these surfers turn in super performances.
- Summer Olympic Games Science
Just hundredths or thousandths of a second can separate first and second place. Check your reaction time with this activity.
- Science at the Olympics
What gives athletes a competitive edge? Would you believe ice? Your brain? Learn more!
- Exploratorium Sports Science
It’s a link to some links—the science of hockey, baseball, cycling, running, and more.
- Chemistry in Sport
Can sports drinks give you a boost? Take a look at this global experiment done by students.
- What Will Sports Look Like in the Future?
As science and sports continue to intersect, how will athletes and competitions change?
- Are Athletes Really Getting Faster, Better, Stronger?
“Citius, Altius, Fortius.” Are there limits to the human body pursuing this Olympic motto?
- Science of the Summer Olympics
The spotlight is on sports science in these videos, as Olympic athletes go for the gold.
- Develop a Sports Venue
These challenges within a challenge take you deep into what it takes to make a successful site for sports.
- Science of the Summer Games
From injuries to what you eat to how you move — these short videos give you an inside look.
- The Science of Human Performance
Our mind and body make amazing sports feats possible. How?
- The Chemistry of Running
Train your avatar in this interactive, then check out the results.
- 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 at the Summer Olympics any time soon, but how about your elementary school?
- Molympics—A Collaborative Project Between HS Teachers and Students
Science goes sporty as students become champions of Mole Day learning and collaborate with students across the U.S.
- New Doping Test
Part of the Olypics takes place behind the scenes, in the lab. What tests are there to see if athletes are keeping the competition clean?
- A Brief Guide to Doping in Sports
Trying to get an inside edge using doping isn't a new idea. What are some of the things used before?
- Sustainability of the Olympics
Are the Games green? These rankings tell the tale.
(all sites accessed June 2021)