SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER OLYMPICS: Maximizing the Long Jump of Bryan Clay - A Science Perspective (Grades 6-12) Print

Objective:

Framework for K–12 Science Education: PS2.A: Forces and Motion, PS2.B: Stability and Instability in Physical Systems, ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems, ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution, ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World


Introduction Notes:

Science of the Summer Olympics

Maximizing the Long Jump of Bryan Clay

A Science Perspective

Lesson plans produced by the National Science Teachers Association.

Video produced by NBC Learn in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.

 

Background and Planning Information

 

About the Video

This video features Bryan Clay, an Olympic Gold medalist in the decathlon, and focuses on the technology used to study his form and movement as he carries out the most technologically complex event of the decathlon: the long jump.  A stereoscopic, or 3D, camera provided by BMW is used to track Clay’s every movement during a jump.  Clay, his coach, and engineer and biomechanist Melvin Ramey then analyze the videos to help Clay try to improve his speed as he approaches the take-off board, and thus his jumping distance.

 

0:00     0:12     Series Opening

0:13     0:46     Introducing Bryan Clay and the Decathlon

0:47     1:11     Bryan performing and explaining the long jump

1:12     1:50     Projectile motion as it applies to the long jump

1:51     2:17     Melvin Ramey discussing take-off angles

2:18     3:26     Using BMW’s stereoscopic, or 3D, camera to record Bryan’s long jumps

3:27     4:10     How the 3D camera might be used on cars

4:11     5:01     Bryan and Ramey analyzing and discussing the images

5:02     5:25     Bryan summarizing the usefulness of the feedback

5:26     5:38     Closing Credits

 

Language Support

To aid those with limited English proficiency or others who need help focusing on the video, make transcript of the video available.  Click the Transcript tab on the side of the video window, then copy and paste into a document for student reference.

 

Connect to Science

Framework for K–12 Science Education  PS2.A: Forces and Motion

                                                                    PS2.B: Stability and Instability in Physical Systems

Related Science Concepts

         Projectile motion

         Trajectory

         Velocity

         Speed

         Run-up, Take off, Flight, Landing

         Measurement

         Musculoskeletal system

         Biomechanics

 

(page 1)

 

Connect to Engineering

Framework for K–12 Science Education

      ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

      ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

      ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World

 

Engineering in Action

The problem addressed in Science of the Summer Olympics (SOTSO): Maximizing the Long Jump of Bryan Clay is how to optimize an athlete’s technique to enable a long jump of the longest possible length. Using a stereoscopic camera, Bryan, his coach and a variety of engineers, including Melvin Ramey, are able to measure Bryan’s velocity in both the horizontal direction and in the vertical direction. By analyzing these measurements, it’s possible for Bryan to modify his take-off angle in order to maximize the length of his jump. This type of research involves several engineering knowledge-generating activities, including transfer from science, experimental engineering research, anddirect trial.

 

In designing a process or object, many variables come into play.  The engineer’s task is to create the best product possible with the available resources.  Optimizing the design involves reviewing how the product performs, and making modifications to the design to enable it to perform “better” – which could mean higher efficiency, lower cost, or within certain established constraints, among others. The optimization of Bryan Clay’s jump involves identifying the variables and designing the jump to take advantage of the variables that will enable the best result.  Optimization can be accomplished by reviewing the “stats” or numerical data associated with the product, or in this case, the jump.  Computers can do this rapidly, allowing for modifications “on the fly.”

 

Take Action with Students

Brainstorm with students a list of products or processes for which they might optimize the design. These could include lockers, backpacks, parking areas, cafeteria lines, and so on. Students could take measurements showing how quickly they can get their lockers open, exchange books, then close the lockers.  Then they might make suggestions for optimizing the design of the locker to decrease the time, perhaps by ten percent.

 

Inquiry Outline for Teachers

Encourage inquiry using a strategy modeled on the research-based science writing heuristic. Student work will vary in complexity and depth depending on grade level, prior knowledge, and creativity. Use the prompts liberally to encourage thought and discussion. Student Copy Masters begin on page 7.

 

Explore Understanding

Explain that most movements that take place in a person’s day-to-day life are fairly linear, meaning that the motions are in only one direction, often the horizontal direction. Walking, running, swimming, and biking for pleasure are examples of such motions. Other motions, particularly in sports, involve projectile motion, or motion in two directions—horizontal and vertical. Use the following or similar prompts to spark a discussion about projectile motion.

 

(page 2)

 

         When a player kicks a football, the ball travels….

         When a basketball player shoots from mid-court, the ball....

         When running the hurdles, the hurdler….

         When an archer shoots an arrow, the arrow….

 

Show the video SOTSO: Maximizing the Long Jump of Bryan Clay.

 

Continue the discussion of projectile motion as it applies to the long jump, using prompts such as the following:

         When I watched the video, I thought about….

         In a long jump, the athlete moves….

         Melvin Ramey, one of the experts in the video, claimed that _____ because….

         A projectile is….

         The path followed by any projectile is called a _____.

         Bryan, his coach and Ramey use the images made by the 3D camera to….

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Stimulate small-group discussion with the prompt: This video makes me think about these questions…. Have small groups list questions they have about how they can study projectile motion and apply their results to the long jump.  Ask groups to choose one question and phrase it in such a way as to be researchable and/or testable. The following are some examples.

         How does an object’s mass affect its trajectory?

         How does an object’s shape affect its trajectory?

         How does force affect an object’s trajectory?

         How long does an object spend moving upward in a trajectory?

         How long does an object spend moving downward in a trajectory?

         How does the angle at which the object is launched impact its trajectory?

 

Design Investigations

Choose one of these two options based on your students’ knowledge, creativity, and ability level.

Open Choice Approach (Copy Master pages 7-8)

Small groups might join together to agree on one question for which they will explore the answer, or each small group might explore something different.  Allow students time to examine the materials, which often aids students in refining their questions or prompting new ones that should be recorded for future investigation. Students should brainstorm to form a plan they would have to follow in order to answer the question. Work with students to develop safe procedures that control variables and enable them to gather valid data. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

         The materials we will use are….

         The variable we will test is….

         The variables we will control are….

         The steps we will follow are….

         The data we will collect are....

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

(page 3)

 

Focused Approach (Copy Master pages 8–10)

The following exemplifies how students might investigate the effect of the propelling force on the trajectory of an object.

1.      Allow time for students to examine the materials you have available, which might include balls with different sizes but the same masses, or balls with different masses but the same size; sports equipment such as bats, golf clubs, and rackets that can be used to launch the balls; a variety of toy rockets and their launchers, protractors; and meter sticks. Examining the materials often aids students in refining their questions, or prompts new ones that should be recorded for future investigation. Ask students questions such as the following to help them envision their investigation.

         What force could you use to move the projectile?

         How can you change the amount of force used to propel the projectile?

         How will you make sure that the projectile is launched in exactly the same way each time?

2.      Guide students to choose a tool that allows them to change the amount of force propelling the rocket.  Allow students time to examine their tools and work with them a little, and then choose different ones if desired.  Caution: On the basis of the launchers and projectiles used, determine if this investigation is best done outdoors or in a large, open room, such as the gym instead of your classroom.  Also, make sure you and your students wear safety goggles throughout the investigations and stress that students do NOT aim any of the projectiles toward one another at any time.

3.      Once students have decided on their launchers and projectiles, give them free rein in determining how they will explore the relationship of force to the trajectory of a projectile. Ensure that students brainstorm to form a list of variables involved in this experiment, and determine which must be controlled and which will vary.  As needed, help them focus on their proposed procedures by using prompts such as the following:

         The materials we will use are….

         The variable we will test is….

         To change this variable, we will….

         The variables we will control, or keep the same, are….

         The data we will collect are....

         To make sure that the controls are the same, we will….

         We will compare trajectories by….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we….

4.      Depending on the force generated by the launchers, students can either use meter sticks to measure the apex of the trajectories, or use their cell phones to record the various trajectories – making sure to include something in the videos as a point of reference, to determine how much farther greater forces propelled the projectile than weaker forces. Or, students might use stopwatches to time both the upward and downward motions of the projectile during each launch.

5.      As needed, suggest ways students might organize their data using tables or graphs.  Explain, if necessary, how to graph multiple trajectories on the same graph.

6.      Make sure students understand how this investigation relates to the physics of the long jump, using these or similar prompts:

 

(page 4)

 

         The projectile in our investigation can be compared to….

         The point at which the projectile left the ground is similar to Bryan’s in that….

         The path, or trajectory, of the projectile is similar to Bryan’s in that….

         The projectile’s trajectory is different from Bryan’s in that….

7.      Remind students of the two velocities demonstrated in the video, and prompt students to think about how these might be changed given their launcher of choice. Then students might continue their investigation by exploring how a take-off angle similar to those of elite long jumpers—between about 18o and 22o, according to Ramey—affects the shape of the rocket’s trajectory, and make conjectures as to why this angle is optimal.

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Students should analyze their data and observations and then make one or more claims based on the evidence their data shows. Encourage students with this prompt: As evidenced by… we claim… because….

 

An example claim might be:

As evidenced byour measurements taken with a constant launch angle, we claimthat more force caused the rocket to reach a higher elevation because the arcs increased in height as we increased the force exerted by the rocket launcher.  More force results in greater acceleration so the upward movement would be greater before gravity’s force began to result in negative acceleration.

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas with others, such as:  classmates who investigated a similar question or with those who investigated a different question or a different object;  material they found on the Internet; an expert they chose to interview; or their textbooks. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Students might make comparisons like the following:

My ideas are similar to those of classmates who simply tossed a tennis ball into the air using different amounts of upward force.  As with the rocket, the greater the upward force on the tennis ball, the higher the apex of its projectile.

 

Reflect on Learning

Students should reflect on their understanding, thinking about how their ideas have changed or what they know now that they didn’t before. Encourage reflection, using prompts such as the following:

         The claims made by the expert in the video include….

         I support or refute these claims because, in my investigation,….

         When thinking about the expert’s claims, I am confused as to why….

         Another investigation about projectile motions I would like to explore is….

 

(page 5)

 

Inquiry Assessment

See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on page 11.

 

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

Compare and Contrast:  Replay, multiple times, if needed, the video segment from 0:15  through 0:29, and have students describe the different projectiles – the discus, the shot put, the javelin, and even Bryan himself – and their motions. Challenge students to identify the factors they think are affecting the projectiles’ trajectories.

 

Visualize a Concept:  Obtain a pair of stereoscopic glasses or a stereoscope and a pair of photos made for this purpose. Have students take turns aligning the photos so that when viewing through the lens, they are able to see one photo in 3D.  Use a drawing to explain the process of triangulation to students.

 

Using the 5E Approach?

If you use a 5E approach to lesson plans, consider incorporating video in these E’s:

Explain:  Use the Design Investigations section of the Inquiry Outline to support your lessons on measurements, motion, speed, and velocity.

 

Elaborate:  Use the video as a springboard to encourage students to learn more about projectile motion involved in different types of sports, including golf, tennis, football, basketball, baseball, and so on.  While Bryan uses his body as the projectile, other sports use additional tools to effect projectile motion, such as golf clubs, bats, and ramps. Have students make comparisons of the projectile motion of Bryan and athletes in other sports such as Aaron Fotheringham’s wheelchair ramp jumping.

 

Connect to … Technology

Help students relate BMW’s stereoscopic, or 3D, technology with that used in their everyday lives, such as the 3D glasses worn at movie theaters, IMAX films, holograms, 3D videos and televisions, and virtual reality glasses, among others. Some students might also know that such technology is used to make many of the movies shown on today’s screens, as well as in medicine and in many types of industries that study materials at the microscopic level or  produce models of fossil animals or features deep beneath Earth’s surface.  For example, three-dimensional scanners are commonly used in dentistry, tunnel construction, and anthropological research.  Geologists and engineers in the oil and gas industry use 3D modeling software to determine the size of underground reservoirs.  Another use of 3D technology is in 3D printers, which receive data they convert into layers and layers of material that form an actual object. These printers have even been used to create an artificial titanium bone that was implanted into a woman in Belgium.  Have students create Internet “tours” that other students can follow to show examples.

 

 

(page 6)

 

 

 

Use Video in Assessment

Play a segment showing Bryan moving through the air, such as 1:38–1:48, with the sound muted. Then provide students with the following instructions. Play the segment multiple times as needed.

 

Explain the science concepts behind what is happening. Use the terms acceleration, vertical, horizontal, force, and gravity in your response.

 

 

Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of the Summer Olympics: Maximizing the Long Jump of Bryan Clay

Use this guide to investigate a question about one of the factors that affects the motion of a projectile. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

The video makes me think about these questions….

 

Design Investigations

Choose one question. How can you answer it? Brainstorm with your teammates. Write a procedure that controls variables and makes accurate measurements. Add safety precautions as needed.

         The materials I will use are….

         The variable I will test is….

         The variables I will control are….

         The steps I will follow are….

         The data I will collect are....

         To conduct the investigation safely, I will….

 

Record Data and Observations

Record your observations. Organize your data in tables or graphs as appropriate.

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data show. Make sure that the claim goes beyond summarizing the relationship between the variables.

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(page 7)

 

 

Compare Findings

Review the video and then discuss your results with classmates who investigated the same or a similar question, or with students who investigated a different question. Or do research on the Internet or talk with an expert. How do your findings compare? How do they differ? Be sure to give credit to others when you use their findings in your comparisons.

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Think about what you found out. How does it fit with what you already knew? How does it change what you thought you knew?

         The claims made by the experts in the video are….

         I support or refute these experts’ claims because in my investigation….

         When thinking about the experts’ claims, I am confused as to why….

 

COPY MASTER: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of the Summer Olympics: Maximizing the Long Jump of Bryan Clay

Use this guide to investigate a question about a projectile’s trajectory.  Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

How does force affect the trajectory of a projectile?

 

Design Investigations

Brainstorm with your teammates about how to answer the question. Write a procedure that controls variables and allows you to gather valid data. Add safety precautions as needed. Use these prompts to help you design your investigation.

         The materials I will use are….

         The variable I will test is….

         To change this variable, I will….

         The variables I will control, or keep the same, are….

         To make sure that the controls are the same, I will….

         I will compare trajectories by….

         To conduct the investigation safely, I will….

 

Record Data and Observations

Organize your observations and data in a table. The table below is one example for testing how force affects a toy rocket’s trajectory.  Also, make a graph using colored pencils to show the different trajectories.  Make a key to show which trajectory is which.

 

 

(page 8)

 

How Force Affects a Projectile’s Trajectory

Launch Number/Force of
the Launcher

Time (seconds) Projectile Is in Motion
Upward Motion/Downward Motion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence shown by your data. Make sure that the claim goes beyond summarizing the relationship between the variables.

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(page 9)

 

Compare Findings

Review the video and then discuss your results with classmates who explored the same question or a different one. Or do research on the Internet or talk with an expert. How do your findings compare? Be sure to give credit to others when you use their findings in your comparisons.

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Think about what you found out. How does it fit with what you already knew? How does it change what you thought you knew?

         The claims made by the expert in the video include….

         I support or refute these claims because in my investigation….

         When thinking about the expert’s claims, I am confused as to why….

         Another investigation about projectile motions I would like to explore is….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(page 10)

 


 

 

Copy Master: Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations

 

Criteria

1 point

2 points

3 points

Initial question

Question had a yes/no answer, was off topic, or otherwise was not researchable or testable.

Question was researchable or testable but too broad or not answerable by the chosen investigation.

Question clearly stated, researchable or testable, and showed direct relationship to investigation.

Investigation design

The design of the investigation did not support a response to the initial question.

While the design supported the initial question, the procedure used to collect data (e.g., number of trials, control of variables) was not sufficient.

Variables were clearly identified and controlled as needed with steps and trials that resulted in data that could be used to answer the question.

Variables

Either the dependent or independent variable was not identified.

While the dependent and independent variables were identified, no controls were present.

Variables identified and controlled in a way that results in data that can be analyzed and compared.

Safety procedures

Basic laboratory safety procedures were followed, but practices specific to the activity were not identified.

Some, but not all, of the safety equipment was used and only some safe practices needed for this investigation were followed.

Appropriate safety equipment used and safe practices adhered to.

Observations and Data

Observations were not made or recorded, and data are unreasonable in nature, not recorded, or do not reflect what actually took place during the investigation.

Observations were made, but were not very detailed, or data appear invalid or were not recorded appropriately.

Detailed observations were made and properly recorded and data are plausible and recorded appropriately.

Claim

No claim was made or the claim had no relationship to the evidence used to support it.

Claim was marginally related to evidence from investigation.

Claim was backed by investigative or research evidence.

Findings comparison

Comparison of findings was limited to a description of the initial question.

Comparison of findings was not supported by the data collected.

Comparison of findings included both methodology and data collected by at least one other entity.

Reflection

Student reflections were limited to a description of the procedure used.

Student reflections were not related to the initial question.

Student reflections described at least one impact on thinking.

 

(page 11)

 

 

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