sports challenge


While you may not fully understand just how much sports and science go together (or just how much fun this exhibit is) until you visit The Sports Challenge, consider the following list of activities within the exhibit a pre-game warm up (and don't miss the Virtual Sports Gallery activities listed toward the end of the page):

Two giant jumbotron screens project live views of visitors in action from cameras located throughout the exhibit, including the blimp. Play director as you control the shot of which challenges you watch on the big screens.

Wider is Better: The Balance Challenge
We're taking you surfing and you don't even need a bathing suit. Stand on a surfboard that simulates the experience of the pitching of a wave and understand how much of a role balance plays in surfing, first, by standing with your legs wide apart, then, by standing with your legs together.

And they're Off! The Reaction Time Challenge
Start your engines - when the lights on the "countdown tree" turn green, test your reaction time by hitting the gas pedal as quickly as possible, without being penalized for a false start. Plus, test your reaction time against a friend.

Flaming Fastballs: The Pitching Challenge
Test your speed and see if you are ready for the big leagues as a radar gun measures how fast you can throw a baseball the length of 60-feet. Then see how much the size, shape, and weight of a ball makes a difference as you test your speed throwing a softball and water polo ball the same distance.

Get a Grip! The Climbing Challenge
Ready to go climb a wall? Learn how friction shapes the experience of a rock-climber as you climb along this authentic-feeling rock wall to see if you have what it takes to make it to the top.

Go Speed Racer! The Race Challenge
We're going to let you speed without the worry of getting a ticket. Understand the role of aerodynamics as you compare the speed of a standard wheelchair to a sleek, racing wheelchair.

Take a Leap: The Leap Challenge
Slam Dunk! Measure the height of your vertical leap along with the hang time of your jump as you try to reach for the basketball target. Learn how you can use your arms as momentum to get more height out of your jump.

In for Spin: The Pirouette Challenge
Experience the spin of a figure skater and get a feel for the physics of rotation when standing on a platform that is free to spin. First, spin with your arms out, then go for the gold as you pull your arms in to simulate an ice skater's pirouette.

Sideline Science: Football Sideline
Think you're ready for the pros? See if you measure-up as you stand next to a life-size cast of a lineman. While you size-up the situation, be sure to check out the displays surrounding the lineman cast to learn how technology is used to detect injury.

Sport Sizes: Wall of Fame
Sports memorabilia, including Shaquille O'Neal's size 22 sneaker and Tara Lipinski's figure skating dress. Full size photos and displays show you the different heights, weights, arm spans and other sizes of famous athletes and their equipment.