Students learn about the science involved in snowboarding, specifically the halfpipe.
Despite being recognized as an official sport in 1985, snowboarders were often discriminated against at ski resorts. At some resorts they were banned from entering, and at others they were required to complete and pass a skills assessment before being granted access to the chairlifts. Skiers were afraid that the unskilled snowboarders would wipe the snow off the slopes. Snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing, and skiing. And despite the feud that once existed between skiers and snowboarders, like its predecessors, snowboarders share one important commonality, and that’s science!
BEFORE YOU GOReview relevant vocabulary and key terms: maneuver, rotation
WHAT TO WONDERQuestions to ask staff: What is the goal of the halfpipe? What tricks and maneuvers can be performed?
Describe the halfpipe course.
Observe what a snowboarder does while he snowboards down the slope; while he’s spinning; while he’s landing.
Opinion: Which sport is more difficult, skiing or snowboarding? Why?
Compare snowboarding to skateboarding.
Challenge: Predict and defend what alterations could be made to the boards and boarders to increase their speed and rotation.
Discuss the boarder’s body positions and how they influence the maneuvers being done: crouching, arms out, standing straight, etc.
Project: Build a miniature snowboard halfpipe course.
Research Shaun White, who has broken numerous snowboarding records and invented snowboarding maneuvers.
Social Impact: Although the goal of snowboarding is not to fall down, falling correctly is the most important skill a snowboarding can learn to ensure his/her safety. Create a poster demonstrating the steps to falling properly and safely.