Magazine article Parenting for High Potential

Be a Good Sport!

Magazine article Parenting for High Potential

Be a Good Sport!

Article excerpt

When you grab your mitt or scoop up that soccer ball and head out the door to practice your skills in sports do you realize that you are actually doing science? Yes, science is involved in sports in many ways. Math is involved too, but don't tell anyone - it'll be our secret!

My hunch is that when you are dribbling down the court and are about to shoot a layup you are actually thinking about the proper angle to let go of the basketball (even if you don't realize it) so that you score the basket, right? Well, that's math. How about when you are actually running down the court? Think about how your feet move. Do you know that you might overpronate? Want to see energy from a bouncing ball? Well, you'll be able to answer all of these questions as you try some of the science and sports experiments right now!


Think about your bike and a friends bike. Are they exacdy the same? No? Well, what's different? The diameter of the tires? The height of the steering wheel? The ratio of how the gears are operating? What about when you all ride your bikes around town? Is one person ahead of the rest when riding? Maybe the wind resistence of your body compared with your friends can increase or decrease your speed? Hmmmm... Lots to think about when all you really wanted to do was go for a fun ride, right? Well, bikes and cycling have lots to do with math and science.

Check out Exploratorium's Web Site that has oooodles of information on the science of cycling!

Exploratorium: introduction.html


To answer the question about whether your feet overpronate let's try this experiment with your feet' The materials you will need include:

* your feet

* old sneakers

* magic marker

* ruler

* protractor

Once you have gathered all of the materials it's time to find out if your feet roll too much from side to side as you walk. When we find that information we will be able to tell if you overpronate, or over-roll, your happy feet!

Using your ruler, find the midpoint of the sole of your sneaker, going lengthwise. Mark that spot with a few dots and then, using your ruler, draw a line all the way down your sneaker. Your sneaker should now be drawn in half lengthwise so that you have two long equal parts of your sole of the sneaker.

Next, place your protractor on the heel of your sneaker (still on the sole of the shoe) and be certain that it is lined up in the middle so that the protractor is equal on both sides of the heel. Measure 12 degrees away from the center of the protractor on each side and mark that with two lines. The bottom of your shoe should now have one long line dividing your sole in half and two angled lines at the heel of the shoe.

Ready to do something with these lines now? Thought so! This is where the investigative science and math work comes in. Be ready! You want to check out the area that was marked with your protractor. See all that space in between the two angled lines? Is it even or is one side of the sneaker more worn than the other side? It should be equally worn out if you don't roll your happy feet when you walk. Next let's check out the top part of your sneaker. Know that area right under your big toe? It's called the ball of your foot. Look and see if the area across the ball of the foot, evenly spaced with that mid-line you already drew with the marker, is evenly worn away.

Want to know what all of this math and science on your shoe means? …

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