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Library of Congress Blog Series, Aug/Sept 2016, Physics of Fun
At the conclusion of NEED'S National Energy Conference for Educators in July, a few NEED staff and family members were treated to a meeting with Constance Carter, Head of the Science Reference Section at the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress has many online resources available to K-12 educators and their students, including lesson plans, reading lists, and more. You can find these resources by visiting https://www.loc.gov/education/.
Ms. Carter and her colleagues have compiled many lists of books and resources that each pertain to one topic in science, and we at NEED have decided to write a series of monthly blogs dedicated to some of these lists. Most are energy-related, but not all of them will be. We all agree that getting kids reading books about science is a great way to keep them actively engaged in thinking about science and may very well lead to our next generation of innovators and creators. We will feature a different list each month, and provide at least one brief review of one of the books on the list.
This month we are featuring the list entitled, “The Physics of Fun”. The books listed all relate to sports or sporting activities in some way, and relate those activities back to the physics that govern how those sports are played. The books cover a range of activities, from individual and team sports to indoor and outdoor activities. Even motor sports are covered! If you have a reluctant learner who seems to have sports on his or her mind all the time, one of these books might be the hook you need to get that child engaged and interested in science. One of the books, Football Physics, is reviewed below. What a great connection to the start of the football season! You can access the entire list of books on “The Physics of Fun” by navigating to https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/SciRefGuides/physicsoffun.html.
Written by Timothy Gay, Ph.D. and with a foreword by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Football Physics: The Science of the Game is a comprehensive compilation of all the strategies, positions, and fundamentals of football and the physics found within. Dr. Gay played football at the California Institute of Technology and is now a professor of physics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Written by a true football fan, Gay is equally adept at describing a critical football play as he is in discussing the classical physics behind it. He seamlessly melds two very different worlds, discussing basic physics in easy-to-understand terms and providing examples from football at every turn. Readers of this book don't need to have any physics background at all, but it would help to have some knowledge of football in order to understand the examples given. This book can prove to be invaluable in reaching those few students whose eyes light up when discussing football statistics and who might need a little nudge in being as excited about physics. 278 pages long plus index, its Library of Congress call number is GV959.G39.