With the 2012 Summer Olympic games just days away, NBC Learn—the educational arm of NBC News—has launched a new video series called “Science of the Summer Olympics: Engineering in Sports.” This 10-part series explores the engineering and technology behind individual summer Olympic events.
The videos include a look at how engineers are designing faster pools and building safer helmets; the analysis of every motion involved in a weightlifter’s lift and a sprinter’s sprint; and analysis of how the principles of engineering are helping disabled athletes excel in such diverse sports as wheelchair rugby, basketball, and racing.
In many of the videos, the engineering is explained by capturing the athletes’ movements with a state-of-the-art, high-speed Phantom camera, which has the ability to capture movement at rates of up to 10,000 frames per second. These dynamic visuals allow for frame-by-frame illustrations of specific principles such as mobility and speed. Athletes who participated in the videos include swimmer Missy Franklin, boxer Queen Underwood, weightlifter Sarah Robles, runners Jenny Simpson and Usain Bolt, and decathlete Bryan Clay.
The series is a continuation of the Emmy award-winning “Science of…” partnership between NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation. Other videos from the partnership include the Science of the Winter Olympics, Science of NFL Football, and Science of NHL Hockey.