Tonight the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils will suit up and hit the ice for the first game of the National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup Finals. The players probably won’t be thinking about Newton’s Laws of Motion while being checked against the glass or how they make use of kinetic and potential energy to launch that 160 kilometer per hour slapshot, but a hockey game is a fast and furious demonstration of many of the key concepts of physics.
In fact, a careful observer can see physics, statistics, geometry, and biology all at work in the rink. Even if you’re not a hockey fan, the speed, power, and reaction time of NHL players is undeniably impressive, and the Science of NHL Hockey video series from the National Science Foundation and NBC Learn offers a view you can’t get from the nosebleed seats. We’re crowning the segment entitled “Work, Energy, and Power” our video of the week, but they are all worth a watch.
For more videos from the Science of NHL Hockey series, visit the NSF’s Science360 Network.
For ideas from the National Science Teachers Association about how to incorporate these videos into lesson plans for high school and junior high students, visit NBC Learn. (Scroll down, select a lesson plan, and then click on full-screen mode to read the document.)
Written by Christine Hoekenga
Christine is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist, specializing in science and nature. She holds an Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Media Studies and a Master's of Science Writing. She has been working in science communication and education for nearly a decade as a journalist, an organizer for conservation groups, and a museum educator. Before joining the Visionlearning team, she served as the New Media and Online Community Manager for the Webby award-winning Smithsonian Ocean Portal. Christine is assisting Visionlearning with developing new modules and glossary terms, managing the blog, and outreach through social media.