The Science of Shooting Hoops

Admittedly, I’m not a big NBA fan; I prefer college basketball, but I did listen this morning to the interview of David Stern, Commissioner of the NBA on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show, and he wasn’t terribly optimistic about the state of negotiations surrounding the NBA lockout.

So, since it looks like professional basketball fans will need to provide their own court-side entertainment, I thought I would share this delightful video from Dragonfly TV (kids doing science). Here two enthusiastic young hoops players test their hypothesis that the position from which a basketball is shot affects the success rate for getting a basket. I’ll let you watch the video to find out their conclusions and whether or not their experiment supports their hypothesis.

For now though, I leave you with this: this video is an excellent demonstration of how science and math can be applied by young people to answer relevant questions in their lives. In this context, the math and the science are interesting and not intimidating. More teaching like this would go a long way toward eliminating science phobia and improving science literacy.

And, if these students continue their investigations, parking-lot basketball games may soon rival the pros.

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Michele Arduengo

Social Media Manager at Promega Corporation
Michele earned her B.A. in biology at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA, and her PhD through the BCDB Program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Michele is the social media manager at Promega and managing editor of the Promega Connections blog. She enjoys getting lost in a good book, trumpet playing, knitting, and snowshoeing.

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