Science at the Olympics

12 08 2008

Is anyone else out there having “Olympics Mania”? I have to say that I’ve been up late these days watching the US break records and win medals. It makes it all the more exciting that many of the Olympians are former or current longhorns (including Ian Crocker, Aaron Piersol, and Brendan Hansen)!


If you’re following swimming you’ve heard all the talk about The Suit. The new LZR suit by Speedo is said to give swimmers a huge advantage by making them super sleek and slippery through the water. The sleeker you are, the less energy you waste splashing through the water. If you watch the swimmers closely, you’ll see that they try to make their bodies as tight and bullet-like as possible.


I have a challenge for you: design a LZR boat! Here are your materials:

  • Styrofoam food tray
  • 2 balloons
  • duct tape or masking tape
  • straws
  • extra cardboard or Styrofoam if needed

See if you can design a balloon-powered boat that is so sleek and quick it would beat Michael Phelps in a race! (OK, you might have to use a few more balloons…)

Let us know what you did and how your boat fared in the water. I’ll send the first designer a “gold” medal via snail mail!




2 responses

14 08 2008

I just keep wondering why Michael Phelps only wears the bottoms of the suit and not the full suit. And he is still the fastest swimmer!
Yay Olympic Mania!

15 08 2008
jean gillespie

This is the best (actually it’s the first) blog I have ever seen!

I do like your articles. Very informative and inspiring. I need more experimentation and less regimentation in my life. Don’t we all?

I head on TV that the suits worn by the US athletes also tighten the (already buff) flesh of the swimmers, like a girdle, so that nothing can “flap” in the water. So they are as streamlined as metal!

Keep up the good work. Very good blog.

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