Schottenbauer Publishing

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Upgrading Physical Education with Graphs

Physical education classes can easily be upgraded to "high-tech" status by incorporating graphs into lesson plans. As early as fourth grade, students are taught graph-reading skills in math and language classes. These technical skills can easily be applied to physical education topics. 

Graphs relevant to physical education include:

  • Trajectories of Human Motion & Sports Equipment
    • Position
    • Velocity
    • Acceleration
  • Direct Measurement of Physical Variables
    • Force
    • Acceleration
    • Altitude
  • Biophysics Data
    • Joint Angles
    • Breathing
    • Heart Rate
    • Electrical Activity of Heart & Muscles

How can these data be used in class? One example is found in the blog article Comparing Graphs of 24 Sports Balls Bouncing, Rolling, & Flying. This article describes how to use a set of three free YouTube videos from Schottenbauer Publishing along with a book of graphs, Bounce, Roll, & Fly: The Science of Balls: Sampler Edition, to compare the performance of 24 popular sports balls.

Discussion Questions
  1. How many times does the baseball bounce?
  2. From what height is the baseball dropped?
  3. Write one or more equations describing the motion of the ball.
  4. What is the potential energy of the baseball in the beginning? At the peak of each bounce? In the end of the graph?
  5. What is the maximum velocity of the ball? The maximum momentum?

Additional sample graphs and discussion questions pertaining to physical education are available on the following free blogs:

Over 5,000 sports graphs are available in science lab manuals from Schottenbauer Publishing. Additional information is available on the blog Sport Science Education. Books can be purchased online from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-Million, and other internet retailers, and wholesale through CreateSpace.