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Find more Quick Tips: In the Trenches
As I listened to one of my students describe training for two Olympic swimming trials this summer (yes, the Olympics!) and trying to shave off precious seconds, I couldn’t help but notice how much math and science are involved in the process. As the Olympics near, use the books below to show your students how math and science are an integral part of any sport.
Elapsed Time at the Olympics. By Dianne Irving. 2011. 32p. illus. Capstone, lib. ed., $25.99 (9781429652391). 688.7. Gr. 3–5.
From sporting venues and tourism to transportation and athletes, this Real World Math book gives brief, behind-the-scenes facts about the preparations and planning necessary to host the Olympics. Color photographs of past Olympics and intermittent math word problems add further interest.
Football: The Math of the Game. By Shane Frederick. 2012. 48p. illus. Capstone, paper, $7.95 (9781429673198); lib. ed., $31.32 (9781429665674). 796.35701. Gr. 6–10.
Accompanied by eye-catching backgrounds, action-packed photographs, and plenty of charts, this Sports Math title delves into time-of-possession percentages, running-back averages, passing statistics, and other areas where math is necessary in football. Also in the series: Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey (all 2012).
Graphing Sports. By Casey Rand. 2010. 32p. illus. Heinemann, paper, $7.99 (9781432926304); lib. ed., $29 (9781432926212). 796.02. Gr. 4–8.
Combining a brief history of several sports with records data, this Real World Data book uses a variety of time lines, line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, and pictographs to show how Olympic records and other sports-related facts can be depicted.
Measuring Time at a Race. By Dianne Irving. 2010. 32p. illus. Capstone, lib. ed., $25.99 (9781429651912). 796.42. Gr. 3–5.
Enhanced with photographs of athletes and para-athletes in action, and related math word problems, this Real World Math book explains how time is measured, how seconds are broken down, and how technological advancements help to record accurate time in many types of races. Also in the series: Understanding Angles with Basketball (2011).
Science at Work in Soccer. By Richard Hantula. 2011. 32p. illus. Marshall Cavendish, lib. ed., $28.50 (9781608705917). 796.334. Gr. 4–6.
As it describes Newton’s second law of motion, inertia, friction, and basic velocity, this Science at Work title shows how soccer is influenced by scientific principles. Sidebars touch on additional related topics, including head injuries and star players, such as David Beckham.
Sports Technology. By Stewart Ross. 2011. 48p. illus. Black Rabbit/Smart Apple Media, lib. ed., $34.25 (9781599205342). 688.76. Gr. 4–7.
This title in the New Technology series takes an interesting look at the various ways that athletes and teams use technology and how those changes affect specific sports, as it touches on matters of ethics as well as science.
Think Like a Scientist in the Gym. By Christine Taylor-Butler. 2011. 32p. illus. Cherry Lake, lib. ed., $27.07 (9781610801638). 507.8. Gr. 3–5.
Part of the Science Explorer Junior series, this kid-friendly approach to physics in particular and the scientific method in general arranges information around the gym, the track, and sports. Experiments allow students to work through such sports concerns as breathing and oxygen, running and speeds, and gravity.
Volleyball by the Numbers. By Colleen Dolphin. 2010. 24p. illus. ABDO/Sandcastle, lib. ed., $21.35 (9781604537727). 796.334. PreS–Gr. 2.
This By the Numbers early reader introduces the basics of volleyball as well as how math plays into the sport, from the number of hits allowed to the size of the court. Related word problems throughout boost readers’ math skills. Also in the series: Baseball by the Numbers, Basketball by the Numbers, Football by the Numbers, Ice Hockey by the Numbers, and Soccer by the Numbers (all 2010).
Angela Leeper is the director of the Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Richmond (VA).
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