The science behind Winter Olympic sports, snow and ice

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Lisa Stelzner

Sorry for the lack of posts – this has been a very busy week of data entry. I am a bit (actually, a lot) obsessed with watching the Olympics, so I was really excited to see that the National Science Foundation paired up with NBC Sports and NBC Learn to create videos of how some of our favorite winter Olympic sports “work” on snow and ice. I also think it’s really awesome that they also created lesson plans for different grade levels that teachers can use to teach their class about the physics, chemistry and engineering behind snow, ice and equipment and techniques used to compete in winter sports.

Check out the videos. I guarantee you that you will learn something new!

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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.