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Special Video Report:

Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Courtesy: NBC Learn, the National Science Foundation and NBC Olympics

NBC Learn and NBC Sports, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, explore the science, technology, engineering and math at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Select a video by clicking on a topic below

Nick Goepper & the Physics of Slopestyle Skiing

Slopestyle skiing will debut at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi with Nick Goepper leading the way for the United States. Along with physical skill, Goepper must rely on physics in order to spin, twist, and flip through the air.

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Shaun White & Engineering the Half Pipe

Shaun White is known for his spectacular tricks in the Olympic snowboard half pipe event. More than just his incredible athletic skill and years of training, it's also the engineering and design of the half pipe that allows White to gain enough speed to generate big air.

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Shani Davis & Engineering Competition Suits

Long track speed skater Shani Davis has the opportunity to become the first man to win gold medals in the same event in three consecutive Olympic Winter Games. In addition to his quickness, endurance, and skating prowess, Davis will be wearing one of the most advanced competition suits ever engineered.

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Injury & Recovery

While on course to defend her downhill gold medal, Lindsey Vonn suffered a devastating knee injury when she tore her ACL. Using the field of regenerative engineering, Cato Laurencin has engineered the L-C ligament, a device that could one day reduce recovery time and get athletes like Vonn back on the slopes faster.

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Science of Ice

The unique surface of ice allows the slide and glide of winter sports to happen, discover how the ice is specially created to serve the needs of various Olympic events.

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Building Faster & Safer Bobsleds

Bobsled is one of the fastest and most exciting sports at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Michael Scully from BMW DesignWorks USA is the designer behind the new two-man Team USA bobsled, which he hopes will be one of the fastest sleds ever build. Meantime, engineers like Mont Hubbard are working to make tracks safer for the athletes.

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Science of Snow

Snow is an essential part of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. How it's formed and how it reacts has been studied by scientists for centuries and continues to this day by scientists like glaciologist Sarah Konrad and chemist Cort Anastasio.

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Stability & Vibration Damping in Alpine Skiing

For alpine skiers Heath Calhoun and Julia Mancuso the engineering and design of their skis will be critical to success at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, especially when it comes to hard packed snow surfaces where vibrations on the slope impact speed and performance.

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Physics of Figure Skating

Figure skaters must be aware of their center of mass, which affects the balance and stability of every step, jump, spin, and lift that the skaters perform.

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Olympic Movement & Robotic Design

The Olympic Winter Games are a showcase of human movement and athletic achievement. Raffaello D'Andrea of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology draws inspiration from Olympic athletes with the quadrocopter, a flying robotic device that has the ability to learn and improve its performance over time.

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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 Olympics
NBC Learn K12