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Can Science Find the Ideal Soccer Player?

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NGSS Standards: (Physical Sciences), (Forces and Motion)

Understanding the science of the world will always give you an advantage in life. So does understanding the science behind sports make a difference?

Maggie McHugh wants her students at the La Crosse Design Institute in La Crosse Wisconsin to explore, “What makes the ideal soccer player?”

La Crosse Design Institute has come up with an integrated STEM approach to teaching and is using the latest PocketLab technology to help their students make real world discoveries.

After watching the Rio 2016 Olympic Football (Soccer 😜) Games the students were set to task of trying to determine if there was a scientifically ideal soccer player.

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Using PocketLab physical motion sensors inserted into soccer balls, the students were able to record data such as acceleration and force using a wide variety of test subjects.

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The student teams will then create their own conclusions about whether athletic soccer ability can be linked to measurable attributes such as height, leg strength, endurance, speed, and reaction time.

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“The most beneficial part about having this technology (PockerLab) is that the students are able to use their own curiosity to guide their learning,” said La Crosse Design Institute teacher and advisor Maggie McHugh. “Students often view mathematics and science with the lens of having only one correct answer. This project provides an opportunity to investigate critical academic skills while developing the mentality of solving open-ended problems versus getting the “right” answer.”

Maybe through this STEM approach these students will be able to find the next Lionel Messi.

Watch the video below to see how animated Maggie's students are about this project and the integration of all four legs of STEM in a single excercise.

Funding for the project comes from the UW-La Crosse School of Education Cooperating Teacher Grant and the Wisconsin Mathematics Education Foundation (WMEF).

Learn more about their innovative curriculum approach here: https://www.lacrosseschools.org/news/using-science-discover-makes-ideal-soccer-player/

 


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