Over the last couple of weeks whenever I drive around my town I see more snow accumulating on the mountains. This weekend the lifts will open on the mountain closest to my home and I can’t wait to hit the slopes. On the topic of skiing, this month National Geographic has a couple of neat features. First Skiers features an interactive timeline and a map of the history of skiing around the world. The timeline begins in 8000 BC and continues through present day. The timeline displays when, where, and how people have used skis around the world throughout time.
After examining the history and development of skiing, consider introducing your students to the physics of skiing. In the video below the National Science Foundation offers a four minute overview of the physics of skiing. The video examines the roles of gravity, acceleration, and friction on the speed of a skier. After watching the video, delve into more detail with this lesson plan from the University of Utah’s math department.