SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING OF THE 2014 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES: Nick Goepper & the Physics of Slopestyle Skiing – Integration Guide (Grades 4 – 12) Print

Objective:

Students synthesize science, technology, engineering design, and math concepts involved in a type of freestyle skiing known as slopestyle and apply their understanding to other curricular areas.


Introduction Notes:

SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING OF THE 2014 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES

Nick Goepper & The Physics of Slopestyle Skiing

 

INTEGRATION GUIDE

Middle School Focus / Adaptable for Grades 4–12

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............................................................ 1

About the Video........................................................................................................................... 1

Video Timeline ............................................................................................................................ 2

 

Promote STEM with Video............................................................................. 2

Connect to Science...................................................................................................................... 2

Connect to Technology................................................................................................................ 3

Connect to Engineering Design................................................................................................... 4

Connect to Math.......................................................................................................................... 4

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan........................................................ 5

Integrate Video in Instruction...................................................................................................... 5

            Bell Ringer....................................................................................................................... 5

            Compare and Contrast.................................................................................................... 5

            Explain............................................................................................................................. 5

            Homework....................................................................................................................... 5

            As Part of a 5E Lesson Plan.............................................................................................. 6

Connect to … Social Studies......................................................................................................... 6

Connect to … Technology............................................................................................................ 6

Use Video as a Writing Prompt................................................................................................... 6

 

Connect Video to Common Core ELA.............................................................. 6

Common Core Standards for ELA................................................................................................ 6

Facilitate Inquiry through Media Research................................................................................. 7

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence............................................................................................. 7

Compare Findings........................................................................................................................ 7

Reflect on Learning..................................................................................................................... 7

Inquiry Assessment...................................................................................................................... 8

 

 

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Background and Planning

 

About the Video

In Nick Goepper & The Physics of Slopestyle Skiing, Jordan Gerton, of the University of Utah, discusses some of the physics involved in a type of freestyle skiing event known as slopestyle, which will debut as an Olympic sport at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Slopestyle skiing, which has its roots in snowboarding, takes places on a terrain park, or snow-covered course that includes obstacles known as jumps and rails. Slopestyle skiers like Nick Goepper navigate the course while completing a variety of moves known as spins, grinds, grabs, and flips, all of which rely on a skier’s ability to change potential energy into the energy of motion needed to maximize one’s angular momentum. “Popping off,” or leaving a rail with as much momentum as possible, allows a slopestyle skier to attain the height and airtime necessary to score well with the judges.

 

Video Timeline

0:00     0:14     Series opening

0:15     0:52     Introducing Goepper

0:53     1:12     Describing slopestyle skiing

1:13     1:40     Introducing Gerton

1:41     2:16     Explaining jumping in terms of kinetic energy and potential energy

2:17     2:36     Goepper and Gerton describing the importance of “popping off”

2:37     3:15     Explaining the role of angular momentum and torque in spinning

3:16     3:58     Explaining how changing the moment of inertia changes rotational speed

3:59     4:32     Explaining the role of friction in grinding on rails

4:33     4:46     Summary

4:47     4:59     Closing credits

 

Language Support: To aid those with limited English proficiency or others who need help focusing on the video, click the Transcript tab on the side of the video window, then copy and paste the text into a document for student reference.

 

 

Promote STEM with Video

 

Connect to Science

Science concepts described in this video include how changes in energy affect a skier’s angular momentum, or rotational energy, as well as his or her moment of inertia, or resistance to twisting. Understanding how to obtain the maximum height in a jump, flip, or spin is crucial to optimum performance. Also embedded in the lesson is the concept of friction between one’s skis and the snow-lined course and the friction between the skis and metal rails over which a slopestyle skier moves.

 

 

 

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Related Science Concepts

         motion

         speed

         energy

         gravity

         potential energy

         kinetic energy

         angular momentum

         moment of inertia

         friction

         torque

 

Take Action with Students

         Use the video as a springboard to have students generate questions that the video raises for them about how speed and motion are controlled during skiing or skating. Then, elicit from those who ski or ice skate how they control their speed and motion. Students might explain how different positions of their skiis/skates and bodies make them go faster, slower, or come to a complete stop. Some might describe how skiing on wet snow differs from moving down powdery slopes, or how skating on the ice after the Zamboni® machine resurfaces the frozen water differs from skating on “dirty” ice. Relate the responses to the concepts of changes in energy and the frictional forces that exist between different surfaces as dicussed in the video. Students might make connections to skateboarding, water skiing, skim boarding, or inline skating on various surfaces.

         Elicit students’ predictions about what might happen when a person sits in a chair that spins with arms and legs crossed and held close to the body and rotates while moving his or her arms in and out. You might also ask for possible explanations about why this happens. Then demonstrate the action from the video that shows how Goepper controls his moment of inertia. Spin your chair so that it is moving around on its own, but not so fast as to make the demonstration dangerous. Move your arms and legs in and out to change the speed of the rotating system as the rest of the class closely observes. Note: Holding (or having the person in the chair hold) small dumbbells in one’s hands will make the changes in rotational speed more obvious.

         If any of your students is a skateboard enthusiast, invite him or her to create a video of his/her abilities and “moves” at a skateboard park or facility and present it to the class. As the class watches, have the skateboarder explain how he or she manipulates his/her body to stay with the board. Then have students compare and contrast the skateboarding moves and techniques with those of slopestyle skiing shown in the video. Dancers and martial arts students might do the same thing.

 

 

Connect to Technology

While not specifically mentioned in the video, some of the technology involved in slopestyle skiing involves the skis themselves, as well as the bindings, boots, and waxes. Unlike downhill skis, the freestyle skis used in slopestyle skiing are double- or twin-tipped, meaning that they curve up at both ends of the ski. This design allows the wearer to not only land difficult jumps, but also to ski backwards without getting “caught” in the snow. Slopestyle skis are generally park-and-pipe skis, which have a narrower waist (or midsection) than all-mountain, freestyle skis.

 

Take Action with Students

         Elicit from students how they think the equipment of slopestyle skiers might differ from that of other skiers using their own ideas or those they noticed in the video. Have students use references to compare and contrast slopestyle skis with other types of skis in terms of design and size. Then, freeze the video at around 0:49 to show a close-up of slopestyle skis. Point out that both the tail (back) and the tip (front) curve upward. Show more of the video, for example the segment from 0:54 to 1:04, to illustrate the hard landings and backward skiing involved in slopestyle and ask students to hypothesize why slopestyle skis have this twin-tipped design.

         Freeze the video at points between 1:53 and 1:59 to show another close-up of a slopestyle ski. Lead students to notice the positive camber, or natural arched position of the ski at its waist under the foot. Once weight is placed at this point, the ski flattens for maximum contact with hard packed snow. Use this information to start a discussion of the frictional forces involved in typical slopestyle maneuvers. For background information, visit http://www.mechanicsofsport.com/skiing/equipment/skis/ski_cambers.html

 

Connect to Engineering Design

The engineering design process uses human ingenuity to draw from science, math, and technology to solve a problem. In the case of the slopestyle events for the 2014 winter games, the “problem” was to create a course that could be safely and skillfully maneuvered to “get to the gold.” The 2014 Olympic slopestyle course includes the starting jump, three features, and a bottom jump line. Features One and Two include multiple metal rails, which vary in shape and length, for skiers to use during a grind, or a move in which the athlete skis along the metal bars and pops off their ends to gain as much altitude (gravitational potential energy) as possible. Feature Three includes a joystick, or sphere mounted atop a small metal pole. To successfully navigate the features, a skier must optimize his/her potential energy by not only minimizing friction, but also by reaching the highest elevations possible upon leaving each rail. Goepper and all of the other slopestyle athletes will use what they know about the course to devise their routines for the games.

 

Take Action with Students

         Have students obtain images of the slopestyle course designed for Sochi and use them to explain the physics involved in this type of skiing, including changes in energy, getting enough height to clear a feature, and the angular momentum needed to score well. Then, encourage students to “design” other features that would emphasize the skills of the skiers.

 

         Students might also explore the constraints under which the course has been designed and how these constraints might limit the skiers’ routines. For example, where do the judges sit in relation to the features and how can skiers be in their best view at all times?

 

Connect to Math

The math connections to this video involve the relationships among an object’s mass, speed, velocity, acceleration, and momentum, and thereby its energy. Consider the following as reminders. Mass is the amount of matter in an object. Speed is the rate of change of an object’s position; it is calculated by using the equation v = d/t, where d is the distance traveled, andt is time. Velocity is an object’s speed in a certain direction. Acceleration is the rate of change of an object’s velocity. Acceleration is related to an object’s mass and the force needed to change its velocity. Acceleration is calculated by using the equation a = F/m, where F is the force and m is the mass of the object. Momentum is the mathematical product of an object’s mass and velocity—momentum = m × v. Momentum is usually measured in kilogram • meters per second (kg • m/s).

As alluded to in the video, slopestyle skiers are constantly converting potential energy into kinetic energy and kinetic energy into potential energy as they carry out their routines. Kinetic energy can be calculated by using the equation KE = ½mv2. The potential energy that Goepper or any object has as the result of altitude is gravitational potential energy, which is calculated using the equation PE = mgh, where m is an object’s mass, g is the object’s acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s2), and h is the height of the object above the ground.

 

Take Action with Students

Have students write each equation on a sheet of paper to determine the general relationships among these variables. Guide students to connect the equations to the variables in a diagrammatic way similar to a concept map. Help them understand the impact on the action as a whole when any given variable increases or decreases. Some examples to use include the following:

         A skier who moves a given distance in a shorter amount of time has a higher speed than a skier who moves that same distance in a longer amount of time.

         A skier with a smaller mass requires less force to change his/her speed than a skier with a larger mass.

         A skier has a large momentum if his or her mass and velocity are large. For example, if two slopestyle skiers are moving at the same speed, the skier with the smaller mass has less momentum than the skier with the larger mass.

         A skier’s kinetic energy depends on both mass and speed. A skier with more mass has more kinetic energy than a skier with less mass traveling at the same speed.

         A slopestyle skier who reaches a higher altitude “popping off” a rail has a higher gravitational potential energy than a skier with the same mass who reaches a lower altitude during a pop off.

 

 

 

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

As Part of the Day

         Bell Ringer Play the video without the sound, twice if necessary, as students get settled. Ask them to closely observe the skier and to write down three questions they would like answered based on their observations. Record them in a KWL format on the board or chart paper and have volunteers answer or suggest answers to a handful of the queries. Then, revisit the answers to wrap up the lesson.

         Compare and Contrast Replay the video segment from 1:55 to 2:15, which contrasts potential and kinetic energy and how one form can change into another. Lead students to define the terms and ask them to explain at least two different energy changes taking place in the segment. Prompt students with sentence starters such as:

         Bending knees increase the potential energy of this system because….

         Goepper has the most/lease potential energy when he….

         Goepper is converting potential energy to kinetic (or vice versa) when he….

         Explain Replay the video segment from 2:37 to 2:53 and guide students to explain the relationship between torque and angular momentum. You might want to use a spring toy—new, metals ones would work best—to demonstrate these concepts as explained by Gerton in the segment from 3:01 to 3:08 or allow students to demonstrate and explain what is happening.

         Homework Ask interested students to research this sport and to present their findings to the rest of the class. Information should include a discussion/explanation of the differences among the four major competitive slopestyle maneuvers—flips, grabs, spins, and jibs—and some of the more common types of rails on a slopestyle course.

 

As Part of a 5E Lesson Plan

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

         Explore Use the SCIENCE Inquiry section of Nick Goepper & The Physics of Slopestyle Skiing Inquiry Guide to support your lessons on energy conversions, moment of inertia, or friction.

         Explain Use the information in the video and students’ results from the ENGINEERING DESIGN Inquiry section Nick Goepper & The Physics of Slopestyle Skiing Inquiry Guide to support your lessons on engineering design process and how science is used to help solve problems.

         Elaborate Have students do research to find out about some of the moves made by slopestyle skiers and how the moves are scored. Suggest that students summarize their results in a few labeled drawings.

 

Connect to … Social Studies

Location, Location, Location Have students research to find the locations of a dozen or more winter Olympic game venues and plot them on a world map. Have students analyze the data to conclude the relationship between location and climate. Students might also make conjectures about the relationship of the locations over time and geopolitical history.

 

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Connect to … Technology

Ski Technology Have students research how Olympic ski events and equipment have changed over the last 70 or so years and summarize their findings as a timeline.

 

Use Video as a Writing Prompt

         Students might write a news report, a blog account from the athlete, or a spectator’s letter to friends back home describing what was observed during Goepper’s run. They could include terminology such as potential energy, kinetic energy, friction, rails, popping off, torque, and angular momentum or it might be an emotional account that vividly and accurately describes the scene.

         Students might write a technical report that compares and contrasts a sport they are familiar with or participate in with slopestyle skiing. Diagrams and technical terms such as those above should be included

 

 

Connect Video to Common Core ELA

Encourage inquiry via media research. Student work will vary in complexity and depth depending on grade level, prior knowledge, and creativity. Use prompts liberally to encourage thought and discussion.

 

Common Core State Standards Connections: ELA/Literacy –

RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions

WHST.6-8.1 Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

WHST.6-8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

 

Facilitate Inquiry through Media Research

Show Nick Goepper & The Physics of Slopestyle Skiing and encourage students to jot down notes while they watch. Elicit questions and problems from group members and help them determine which are better explored using print media or online resources. Then, students should brainstorm to form a list of key words and phrases they could use in Internet search engines that might result in resources that will help them answer a question or solve a problem. Review how to safely browse the Web, how to evaluate information on the Internet for accuracy, and how to correctly cite the information found. Suggest students make note of any interesting tangents they find in their research effort for future inquiry. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

         Words and phrases associated with our question/problem are….

         The reliability of our sources was established by….

         The science and math concepts that underpin a possible solution are….

         Our research might feed into an engineering design solution such as….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

 

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Related Internet Resources

         http://www.today.com/video/today/50716450#50716450

         http://universalsports.com/video/2013-winter-games-mens-ski-slopestyle-american-kenworthy-wins-heat-2/

         http://usfreeskiing.com/athletes/nick-goepper

         http://olympictalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/23/sochi-2014-slopestyle-skiing-snowboarding-course/

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

As students carry out their media research, ensure they record their sources and findings. Students should analyze their findings in order to state one or more claims. Encourage students with this prompt: As evidenced by… I claim… because….

 

Present and Compare Findings

Encourage students to prepare presentations that outline their inquiry investigations so they can compare findings with others. Students might do a Gallery Walk through the presentations and write peer reviews as would be done on published science and engineering findings. Students might also make comparisons with material they find on the Internet, the information presented in the video, or an expert they chose to interview. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

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

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

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

 

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:

         I claim that my ideas have changed from the beginning of this lesson because of….

         My ideas changed in the following ways….

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

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

 

 

 

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Inquiry Assessment

 

Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations

Criteria

1 point

2 points

3 points

Initial question or problem

Question or problem had had a yes/no answer or too simple of a solution, was off topic, or otherwise was not researchable or testable.

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

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

References cited

Group incorrectly cited all of the references used in the study.

Group correctly cited some of the references used in the study.

Group correctly cited all of the references used in the study.

Claim

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

Claim was marginally supported by the group’s research evidence.

Claim was well supported by the group’s research evidence.

Presentations

Groups neither effectively nor cooperatively presented findings to support their stance.

Groups effectively or cooperatively presented findings to support their stance.

Groups effectively and cooperatively presented findings to support their stance.

Findings comparison

Only a few members of the group constructively argued their stance.

Most members of the group constructively argued their stance.

All members of the group constructively argued their stance.

Reflection

None of the reflections were related to the initial questions.

Some reflections were related to the initial questions.

All reflections were related to the initial questions.

 

 

 

 

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