SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER OLYMPICS: Maximizing the Long Jump of Bryan Clay - An Engineering 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

An Engineering 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, and direct 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

Encourage students to explore solutions to a problem related to optimizing a design for a projectile launcher, using the Design Investigations section of the Inquiry Outline as a guide. As a class, set up constraints within which students will work, such as: the end product cannot exceed 30 cm in its largest dimension; it must be able to consistently (perhaps at least 5 out of 10 times) hit a small target area at the greatest distance; and it must be made from only the materials available.

 

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 these or similar prompts to spark a discussion about projectile motion that involves a target.  Students might sketch graphs as part of their responses.

(page 2)

 

         A projectile is….

         In football, a graph of the motion of a football kicked toward a field goal looks like….

         The kicker attempting a field goal aims….

         A basketball player shooting from mid court throws the ball….

         The aim of an arrow shot toward a target farther away compares to the aim of an arrow shot toward a closer target by….

         In golf, the target and projectile are….

         In baseball, the target and projectile are….

         In hopscotch, the target and projectile are….

 

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

 

Continue the discussion of the 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….

         In any long jump, the projectile and target are….

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

         To study Bryan’s movements as his did the long jump, engineers used a stereoscopic camera that….

         According to the experts in the video, to optimize his distance, Bryan needs to _____.

         Factors that impact the distance that Bryan jumps are….

 

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 design a device that will project a small object onto a target at the greatest distance. 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 the amount of force needed to launch it?

         How does the amount of force applied to the launcher affect the object’s trajectory?

         How does the length of the launching lever affect a projectile’s motion?

         How does the angle of the launching lever affect a projectile’s motion?

         How can the same amount of force be applied to the launcher each time so that it successfully hits the target?

 

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 time for students 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

 

(page 3)

 

plan they would have to follow in order to answer the question, taking into account the

constraints previously decided upon by the class.  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 design we will use satisfies the constraints by….

         The variables we will test and control are….

         The steps we will follow are….

         After initial trials, we will optimize our design by….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Focused Approach (Copy Master pages 8-9)

The following exemplifies how students might design a device that can consistently launch a projectile to hit a target at the greatest distance. Remind students of the constraints they defined earlier as a class.  Students might decide to add variables, such as the mass of the projectile, or the force applied to the launcher, as constraints for optimizing their designs.

1.      Allow time for students to examine the materials you have available.  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.

         Which of the materials fit into the constraints within which you must design?

         How will your choice of projectiles affect the size and design of your launcher?

         How might the launcher be optimized for varying sized projectiles or amounts of force?

2.      Once students have considered these questions, give them free rein in determining how they will build and test their launchers.  Ensure that all students wear safety goggles. Students might find that after an initial attempt at building and/or testing a launcher, they will need to start over with another design.  Some groups might try multiple solutions at the same time.  Remind students, if necessary, that their launchers must not exceed the size limitations, and that the projectiles you provide are the only objects they can launch.

3.      Students might make a simple launcher using duct tape to anchor the handle of a sturdy but flexible plastic spoon to a piece of stiff cardboard with the spoon’s concave side facing up, and wedging a small, polystyrene foam block between the spoon’s handle and the cardboard.  To launch three small balls, one student would hold the foam block in place while another puts a ball into the spoon’s top and pulls back on the spoon to launch the ball.  Students might use a metric ruler to measure how far, from a resting position, the tip of the spoon’s bowl is pulled to launch each ball, so that it hits the target where desired.

4.      Encourage students to optimize their designs during testing. They should make notes about changes they made and how those impacted results. Guide them to think about how they will optimize their designs to successfully increase the distance at which they can hit a target the pre-determined number of times, using these or similar prompts:

         The variables involved in our testing are….

         Our design satisfies the constraints by….

         We will optimize our design based on….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we….

(page 4)

5.   Set up a target and allow each group to launch its projectiles. Have the observing groups predict the accuracy of the device and how far the projectile might travel.  After all devices have been tested, evaluate, as a class, the optimization of the various designs.

6.   Extend the investigation by having students decide on new constraints for the competition target—distance, size, and so on. Have students optimize their designs to accommodate the new constraints.

 

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 show. Encourage students with this prompt: As evidenced by… we claim… because….

 

An example claim might be:

As evidenced bythe distance from which we hit the target’s bulls-eye we claim that our launcher was optimized to exert the appropriate force for the load and distance because once we tried to launch larger balls, the launcher did not exert enough force to make the ball travel to the target.

 

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 also tested balls of the same size, but used a different type of launcher. They, too, were able to optimize for a certain load and force. However, my ideas are different from this group’s because their launcher was much larger than ours, so they had to manipulate it differently to launch the balls onto the target.

 

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:

         My ideas have changed from the beginning of this lesson because of this evidence….

         My ideas changed in the following ways….

         When thinking about the claims made by the expert, I am confused about....

         One part of the investigation I am most proud of is…..

 

 

(page 5)

 

Inquiry Assessment

See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on page 10.

 

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

Explain:  Use the video segment from approximately 1:39 to 1:48 to explain the two components of velocity, and the parabolic motion that occurs when an object becomes a projectile.  Have students compare the parabola of Bryan’s motion to those of the objects they launched with their launching devices, noting that the trajectories of their objects were much smaller and did not have as much height as Bryan’s trajectory when he performs the long jump. Use graphs to visualize the data and help students analyze and connect the data to designs and variables.

 

Homework:  Use the video as an engaging reason to learn more about projectile motion.  Have students jot down questions they have about projectile motion, velocity, acceleration, and mass.  Collect these questions in the next class, and use them as a prelude to your lesson on the concepts.

 

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 projectile motion, forces, and measurement.

 

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 Bryan’s projectile motion and that of athletes in other sports, such as Aaron Fotheringham in 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

Provide students with screen grabs of the video at 0:16, 0:24, 0:25 and 0:28 and provide them with the following instructions.

 

Compare and contrast the motion shown in these four situations. Use the words projectile and trajectory in your answers.  

 

 

 

Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students

 

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

Use this guide to design and optimize a launching device within a given set of constraints. 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 design I will use satisfies the constraints by….

         The variables I will test and control are….

         The steps I will follow are….

         After initial trials, I will optimize my design by….

         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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

(page 7)

 

         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?

         My ideas have changed since the beginning of this lesson because of this evidence….

         When thinking about the claims made by the expert, I am confused about...

         One part of the investigation I am most proud of is….

 

COPY MASTER: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students

 

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

Use this guide to design a launching device and use the device to test factors that influence the distance a projectile can travel.  Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

How can we make a simple launching device within a given set of constraints and optimize it to accurately launch objects that can hit a target at the greatest distance?

 

Design Investigations

Brainstorm with your teammates about how to design, test, and optimize a device that launches projectiles with accuracy at the greatest distance.  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 to build my launcher(s) are….

         The variables involved in my testing are….

         My design satisfies the constraints by….

         I will optimize our design based on….

         To conduct the investigation safely, I will….

 

Record Data and Observations

Organize your data in a table or make drawings or videos of the design, testing, and optimization of the design.

 

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 8)

 

Compare Findings

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?

         My ideas have changed from the beginning of this lesson because of this evidence….

         My ideas changed in the following ways….

         When thinking about the claims made by the expert, I am confused about....

         One part of the investigation I am most proud of is….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(page 9)


 

 

 

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 reflection was 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 10)

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