Schottenbauer Publishing

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Using Laboratory Models to Study Snow Sports

Laboratory models have the possibility of simplifying the science of snow sports. The following graphs excerpted from The Science of Snow Sports: Volume 2 provide samples of straight and curved motion of a model skier on plastic slopes. The flat slope is HDPE Plastic, and the curved slope is Pinypon Ski.

Discussion Questions for Graph 1
  1. How high is the model skier at the beginning of the trajectory? At the end?
  2. What is the length of the slope? Draw a model of the slope.
  3. What is the velocity of the skier at the end of the trajectory?
  4. Approximately how much mass does the model (skier plus skis) contain? Is it possible to obtain a precise estimate?
  5. Is it possible to estimate the size of the skis? How large might the skis be?

 Discussion Questions for Graph 2
  1. Describe the motion of the skier.
  2. Is this slope different than the slope from the first graph? If so, how?
  3. Describe the forces on the skier. How do the forces affect the motion?

 Discussion Questions for Graphs 3 & 4
  1. One of these graphs shows the front view of the turn, and one shows the side view. Which graph corresponds to each view?
  2. Compare these two graphs to Graphs 1 and 2. What are the main differences?
  3. Why are these graphs not smooth? What happens to the skier in the region of irregularity?
  4. What is the effect of the curve on the skier’s motion?

Additional graphs similar to those above can be found in the following science lab manuals from Schottenbauer Publishing:

Graphs & Data for Science Lab: Multi-Volume Series
  • The Science of Snow Sports 
    • Volume 1: Force, Acceleration, & Video Analysis 
    • Volume 2: Force & Video Analysis 
Anthologies of 28 Graphs
  • The Science of Winter Olympic Sports 

Additional Information