When skateboarder Tony Hawk performs his signature move, the Ollie, he might not be running actual calculations in his head. It’s probably second nature for him to figure out how much force he needs to exert on his board and how far he needs to bend his knees to cushion the landing. But every move he makes on his skateboard is based on physics.
What about beginner skateboarders (like me!)? Are they using physics, too? Sure! Visit a local skateboard park and you’ll see plenty of physics in action, from hesitant beginners choosing the most gradual slopes to experts flying through the air and using gravity to their advantage. All of this action uses force, which is one of the foundational concepts of physics. So is gravity!
Using real-life scenarios including skateboarding, training for a marathon, investigating a train wreck, and solving the mystery of a power outage, Physics: Investigate the Mechanics of Nature explores the foundational concepts of physics in an accessible, fun way. Comic strips, links to online primary sources, and a friendly tone help break down tough-to-understand ideas about magnetism, optics and lots of other areas of study.
The science of physics provides a profound understanding of the way our world works, an understanding kids in junior high and beyond will be thrilled to be equipped with. Especially when it means improving their skateboarding skills.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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