Subscribe to the Albuquerque Journal NIE
Already have an NIE subscription?

Special Video Report:

Science of NHL Hockey

Courtesy: National Science Foundation, NBC Learn and The National Hockey League

NBC Learn and NBC Sports, in partnership with the National Science Foundation and the National Hockey League, explore the science and math behind professional hockey.

Make science and math more interesting to students by including this informative 10-week video series into your curriculum. Explore the geometry found on the hockey playing surface, examine the physics of a slap shot using the principals of work, energy and power, see how vectors impact the passing game, learn why statistics and averages are important to professional players, and much, much more.

Select a video by clicking on a topic below

Hockey Geometry

Where in a NHL game or on a NHL rink do you see geometry? This segment explores the importance of geometry in the game, from divisions of the zones of play on the ice surface to the various angles of the hockey stick, puck movement, and the angle of access that goaltenders use to protect their net.

Watch the video

Work, Energy & Power

In this segment, Dallas Stars Left Wing Brenden Morrow talks about the force behind their powerful slap shots. A slap shot is the perfect demonstration of work, energy and power, and this segment breaks down these concepts to show how they combine into one speedy projectile of a puck.

Watch the video


Passing is one of the most important skills in hockey, and geometry is a huge part of it. This segment discusses how velocity vectors play a key role in getting a puck from point A to point B with speed and accuracy, a crucial part to any hockey game.

Watch the video

Statistics & Averages

Goaltending is not just a game of reflexes, but also involves having head for numbers, namely statistics and percentages. This segment explains how a goalie must take into account the statistics of the other teams' players, as well as keep in mind their own save percentage, which is a direct indicator of their success in the game.

Watch the video

Reflexes & Reaction Time

Hockey goaltenders' entire careers hinge on their lightning-fast reflexes and reaction time. This segment explores the importance of the goalies' reaction to the stimulus of the puck coming toward them and how their reflexes play a key role in everything they do.

Watch the video

Projectile Motion

This segment discusses the accuracy involved in a wrist shot, and how it relates to the concept of projectile motion. A wrist shot is able to be directed to an exact spot through a combination of pointing the stick in the correct way and putting the correct spin on the puck, all of which relate back to the properties of projectile motion.

Watch the video

Newton's Three Laws of Motion

Newton's Laws of Motion apply to every moving object, and hockey is no exception. In this segment, Newton's Three Laws of Motion, as well as concepts of inertia and forces, are applied in every aspect of the game, from players themselves, skating and checking, to the puck, and every shot and pass in between.

Watch the video

Mass, Volume & Density

Though it's an under-publicized job, the ice technician is one of the most important people when it comes to producing a hockey game. This segment discusses what an ice technician does, how the ice for the game is created, and how the mass, volume, and density of the water play a major role in the planning and execution of putting the rink together.

Watch the video


The principals of kinematics, velocity, position, and acceleration, are key components in hockey players' abilities to skate across the ice. This segment explains how these concepts come together to allow a player to predict another players' location at a future point in time, and other important information about the player.

Watch the video

Force, Impulse and Collisions

This segment illustrates a perfect example of collisions and opposing forces, the puck in a hockey game. The force exerted on the puck by a stick, the boards, or a player, determines exactly how fast it will move and in what direction, as well as how impulses play into it all.

Watch the video

Distributed by with permission

About NBC Learn

NBC Learn is the educational arm of NBC News dedicated to providing resources for students, teachers, and lifelong learners. The online resources NBC Learn has created for the education community leverages nearly 80 years of historic news coverage, documentary materials, and current news broadcasts. Currently two offerings, NBC Learn K12 and NBC Learn Higher Ed, give students and teachers access to thousands of video clips from the NBC News archives, including great historic moments--from the Great Depression to the Space Race to the latest political coverage. NBC Learn also offers primary source materials, lesson plans and classroom planning resources, and additional text and image resources from our content partners. For more information, visit

About the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Additional Resources

NBC Learn | National Science Foundation

NBC Learn K12