Science of NFL Football: #5, Geometric Shapes

Hi, I’m Erica! I’m a software engineer with a masters in Instructional Technology and I’m also a San Francisco 49ers cheerleader.

In my recent SciCheer interview, I talked about my favorite college courses: calculus, physics, and probability and statistics. I liked these courses because I could concentrate and listen to music at the same time. (shhh!) I said my least favorite course was differential equations. (Just thinking of Laplace Transform of F(s) = f(t) makes my skin crawl. I really struggled with that.)

I also mentioned that I get excited when I nail a double pirouette. That’s a type of spiral dancers perform on one leg. Know who else knows a lot about spirals? You guessed it! NFL quarterbacks. As NBC’s Lester Holt explains in this next Science of NFL Football segment, “Whether throwing a screen or launching a bomb, NFL quarterbacks are spin doctors, firing fast spirals that cut through the air with pinpoint accuracy.”

I’m happy to introduce the fifth of ten Science of NFL Football segments. This one is on Geometric Shapes: Spheres, Ellipses & Prolate Spheroids!

If you’re an educator, be sure to visit NBC Learn to download free supplemental educators’ guides. Goooo science! And Goooo National Science Foundation for making this possible. Previous Science of NFL Football segments can be found here.