You might not think STEM and football go together, but there’s actually a lot of STEM in sports, such as: speed, distance, helmet design, predictions and probability, etc.
On January 11, 2023, hundreds of middle schoolers descended on State Farm Stadium for a Super Bowl Committee-hosted STEM event called “100 Yards of Education.”
Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., former wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, said of the students: “These are our next governors and CEOs and community leaders, and we have to give them all the tools necessary to be able to succeed.”
Now you can host your own Super Bowl STEM event using the resources below!
Renee at the Science School Yard says the Super Bowl is a perfect opportunity to get the attention of your students while adding cross-curricular activities. She combines football with lessons from geography to math, as well as a STEAM design lesson – but our favorite is the football catapult. Here are her top five ways to add some theme-based lessons this week: https://www.scienceschoolyard.com/2019/01/superbowl-stem.html
Super Bowl Football Science Projects
Science Buddies has four football-themed science projects for sports science fun as the Super Bowl approaches!
- Football Field Goals: Going the Distance
- Field Goal: The Science Behind a Perfect Football Kick
- How Far Can You Kick a Ball?
- Measuring Concussion Risk in Contact Sports
These science fair projects and experiments help students investigate the physics behind perfect spirals, successful field goals, and more: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/blog/super-bowl-football-science-projects
STEM in the Super Bowl
This book introduces fans to STEM concepts in the Super Bowl, exploring how science, technology, engineering, and math are all at play in this exciting event. The title features informative sidebars and infographics, exciting photos, a glossary, and an index. STEM in the Super Bowl was written by Mike Downs, a dad, a husband, an author, and a pilot. (Even though it’s on Amazon it won’t be delivered in time for this year’s Super Bowl, unfortunately, but we still wanted to put it out there.)
STEM Sports is a STEM curriculum for schools that’s based on different sports. STEM Football is a great way to kick off new methods of learning using the game as the real-life application to drive STEM literacy in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. STEM Football’s eight-lesson program includes modules such as:
- Gaining the understanding of energy and motion differences between a youth football and a foam football
- Exploring how in-game communication technology enables success for NFL teams
- Learning about the nervous system and the importance of helmet engineering
- Graphing successful pass completions using data related to the use of receiver’s gloves
STEM Sports has a page of free STEM football resources on their website: https://stemsports.com/resources/resources-football
STEM in Sports
TalkSTEM has curated five activities to connect STEM mindsets and football:
- It’s Not Just About the Game
- Millions and Millions of Football Screens
- Run the Distance with Sports Math
- Pizza STEM
- Turf Wars
You can access these awesome STEM education resources here: https://talkstem.org/stem-in-sports-5-activities-to-connect-stem-mindsets-and-football-this-fall
Brain Safety Football STEM Challenge
This activity is brought to you by Vivify STEM, which equips teachers with resources that help bring STEM education—and STEM careers—to life. First, students learn about football helmet history, brain safety, and shock absorption. Next, using the engineering design process, students design, create, and test pint-sized football helmets to protect their egg “player” from a 1-foot drop. Challenge your students to create a safer football helmet for their adorable egg players here: https://www.vivifystem.com/blog/2021/9/7/football-stem-challenge
She Can STEM
Among the celeb-filled and comically irreverent ads that aired on Super Bowl Sunday 2022, one stood out for its important message to the next generation of scientists, computer programmers, biochemists, web developers and other STEM professionals. NBC’s Today Show debuted a 70’s-themed public service ad (PSA) featuring the show’s anchors to encourage girls to pursue their interests in STEM. Part of the She Can STEM campaign, the 30-second spot was created by Deloitte Digital together with Ad Council and If/Then. To learn more about She Can STEM, click here.
The week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday 2023 is a great time to add some super fun STEM to your school day!