While the science and technology behind individual sports gets covered in plenty of places (I do recommend Sports Science on ESPN in the U.S.), the Olympics coverage (at least in the U.S.) focuses way more on the athletes than on the science and technology that help them do what they do.
During the next two weeks, you might want to augment your Olympics exposure with the following.
While it’s already over, the Opening Ceremonies explicitly called out the science and technology in Great Britain’s history. Take a gander at the following Tweet from @AdamRutherford (H/T @mereoec and @rizmc), as well as the linked photo.
Perhaps only Britain could plausibly reference the industrial revolution at an international event, but the mention of science and technology in a cultural ceremony is still different enough to merit some attention. And the inclusion of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the greatest living British computer scientist and an inventor of the World Wide Web, really puts weight behind Berners-Lee’s words from the stage:
But on to what’s to come:
NBC, which broadcasts the Games in the U.S., is once again using NBC Learn to provide science and technology Olympic themed content. Check out the videos for Science at the Summer Olympics, which includes a video on measurement. NBC has some support from the National Science Foundation in this project, and they should have lesson plans available next month, with help from the National Science Teachers Association.
One of the videos currently on the Science at the Summer Olympics website focuses on Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who has qualified to represent South Africa at these Games. He’ll take his twin carbon-fiber running prostheses into uncharted territory. The NBC clip explains why those prostheses do not provide a greater advantage than his competitors’ full flesh and bone legs. His first race is scheduled for August 4.