The Physics of Sports
- Grades 7-11
- Science and Engineering
How does a pitcher get a baseball to curve mid-pitch? Why does an ice skater spin faster when she pulls in her arms? How can Tony Hawk land a “900,” a skateboard trick involving the completion of two-and-a-half aerial revolutions? Physics holds the key to answering these and other fascinating sports questions. This introductory physics course uses sports to explore mechanics: kinematics, dynamics, momentum, energy, and power. You’ll experiment with billiard balls to investigate collisions and conservation of momentum, study centripetal forces to determine how fast a racecar can take a turn, and use kinematics and projectile motion to discover the best angle from which to shoot a basketball. You and your classmates will explore the real-world applications of physics concepts in sports through lectures, hands-on activities, labs, simulations, mathematical problem sets, and research projects. Along the way, you’ll develop a strong understanding of the principles that give star athletes an edge over their competitors.
Typical Class Size: 16-18
- Construct a model of Newtonian mechanics from a sport of your choice presenting relevant physics concepts
- Analyze and solve mathematical computations in kinematics, momentum, energy loss, and impulse in colliding systems in sports
- Integrate and apply physics concepts conservation, work, energy, and power to a sport to produce a plan to improve efficiency and performance in sports
Summer Dates & Locations
Testing and Prerequisites
|Required Level||CTY-Level||Not required|
Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.Sign up for Testing Learn More
Cost and Financial Aid
- Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
- Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)
Financial Aid is available
We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.
Please acquire all course materials by the course start date, unless noted as perishable. Items marked as “perishable” should not be acquired until the student needs them in the course. If you have questions about these materials or difficulty locating them, please contact [email protected].
Course Extras (Lab fee info, etc): Lab fee: $145
These titles have been featured in past sessions of the course, and may be included this summer. CTY provides students with all texts; no purchase is required.
- The Physics of Sports, Michael Lisa
About Science and Engineering at CTY
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