Sports Card Science!


Sports card science provides many introductions or experimental prefaces to almost all science units of study.

Examine the science of throwing a trading card.
Ask two or three students to take turns pitching cards across the classroom. Encourage observers to describe what they see.

    * What combinations of arm, wrist, and hand movements provide the propulsion?
    * What structural features of the card allow it to travel the way it does?
    * Prepare a study of either a photograph series or short video that focuses on a successful card throw.
    * What physical mechanics provide the launch sequence?
    * How does card’s shape and structure manage air resistance?
    * What principles of lift are observed?


golf ball

Find trading cards that depict a sports projectile in action.

    * What features of the projectile allow players to add their own spin to it? In a throw or kick or hit? In a catch?
    * What features of the projectile make it difficult for a player trying to control it?
    * How does its design aid speed?
    * How does its design aid velocity?
    * How does its design aid reliable trajectory?


How does a player use speed during a game?
* When is it important to accelerate?
* When is it important to decelerate?
* Why is the player’s control of speed important?


Make a photograph series or video of a particular skill demonstrated by a player.
Using slow motion, examine how the player combines aspects such as the angles and movement of shoulders, arms, legs, and torso.

    * What efforts are made by players to use resistance?
    * What efforts are made by players to reduce resistance?
    * How do special features in footwear assist the player?
    * How do special features in uniform assist the player?
    * How do special features in body posture assist the player?


curling rock release


Choose a favorite sport. Explain how the sound is created when a bat hits a ball or ball hits a net, etc.
* Take a photo of that exact sound-making moment.
* Create a “sound effect” that captures the sound. Add it to your photo of sports card science.


Explain how weight and mass are used in your favorite sport.
* How is weight used offensively? Defensively?
* How is mass used offensively? Defensively?


How is friction used in your favorite sport?
* How does the player use friction to accelerate?
* How does the player use friction to decelerate?
* How does the player use friction to control the projectile?




Return from Teaching Sports Card Science to Sports Cards hub page for even more sports card teaching ideas!


Does your unit of study call for research into the lives and times of scientists? Then jog over to the Integrate Trading Cards and Biography page to find another useful biography tool that will add years to your life and help students pay more attention to the detail you are after!


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