Tri River Area CSU Extension - To provide information, education and to encourage the application of research-based knowledge to the communities of Delta, Mesa, Montrose, and Ouray Counties.

Feb 3rd ~ Are you ready for some….Physics!?!?!?

Happy Happy Superbowl weekend! If you didn’t watch, you missed out on a great championship game yesterday. FYI – My team WON!!!! Hurrah! (If you don’t know who won….I guess I can wait until you get back from googling it….)

Ok, now onto something just as cool. Let’s talk about the Physics of a Perfect Punt (You didn’t think I was done with football yet did you?).

I love learning how things work and how to do something better, so while watching the big game, I wondered; What does it take to make a perfect down field punt? The answer is Physics!

Let’s see what former NFL punter Craig Hentrich has to say about the Perfect Punt.

Science Behind the Perfect Football Punt

Makes sense, right? The perfect punt is about Initial Speed, Launch Angle, Air Resistance, and desired Range & Hang Time the play requires. All of these variables work together for the punter to make the perfect game punt!

Lets talk application!

For younger kids, pull together craft recyclables from around the house or school to build miniature (desk or table as the field) Football Goal Posts, 2 for every group. Examples of supplies I used include:

Goal Posts!
  • Paper Cups
  • Straws
  • Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes
  • Toothpicks
  • Craft Sticks
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Q-Tips

Anything you think of to make your goal posts! You will also need: Scissors, Paper, and Tape.

Once your goal posts are complete, place them opposite each other on a smooth, flat surface.

Tray making different shapes and sizes of balls (Projectiles)

Next, have your kids take paper and fold it into different sizes and shapes (Squares, Triangle, Crumpled, etc..). Game ON! Try to make field goals by flicking your paper shapes through the goal posts.

As a wrap up talk about which papers traveled the farthest and highest through the goal post. How does shape and size affect the outcome? What does gravity do to your ball?

If you have older children or students, try having them take different balls or objects (Cotton balls, paper, feathers, pencils, speck of sand, straws, anything) and throw them into a trash can from 5 feet away.

Talk about what items were easier to make a basket with and what were not. What did you do/try to change in order to make a basket? What kept you from making it every time and with every object in the exact same way? (Weight, air resistance, size {diameter}, speed of throw, angle, etc…)

For a full lesson with access to punt simulation technology and quiz questions, follow the link provided at the bottom of this post. Teachers key is available, just e-mail me!

Thanks for checking in!

Steph’s Team!

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