The Science of Sports

Did you know that by the age of 13, nearly 70% of kids quit organized sports? Why are so few kids continuing in sports? Additionally, in America today, 21% of youth ages 12-19 years old are considered obese (compared to only 5% in 1980). Those statistics alone should be enough to make us all worry about the future our kids will grow up in.

For those of us who live and breath in the sports world, we know how important sport can be to our physical and mental health. Clearly, sport is part of the solution to a better, more healthy nation. So how do we go about changing these statistics and create a world where we can use the world of sports to make the world better? The solution is today’s paradigm in education where teachers use inspiring videos with companion classroom activities. And that’s why we’re creating this breakthrough series of online sports science videos and companion classroom materials. 

Why us? Science and sports education is what we do. And some experts say we do it better than anyone in the nation. Maybe that’s why for the last 6 years, Untamed Science has produced nearly 400 science education videos to companion 6 science textbooks with Pearson publishing. We’ve added physics, chemistry, biology and earth science videos to supplement school curriculums in grades K-12 accounting for nearly 20 million views in classrooms every year! The outdoor sports world has also harnessed our engaging production style. Untamed Science has produced the videos for the national online safety education programs for boatingbowhunting, hunting, off-road vehicles, snowmobile, and treestand use – adding millions more to those educated by Untamed Science. Now we’re using that national recognition in creating and distributing this new sports series on Youtube. And we’re partnering with like minded institutions to make this series a huge success both in the creation of the series and in its national distribution.

Part of our national online network distributing the program

Our External Sport Science Educational Team

Pablo McCandless: As an Olympic Slalom Kayaker, Pablo has dedicated himself to the education of whitewater kayaking for nearly 20 years. He is representative coach for the World Championships. He leads training trips to Chile and works to develop young talent in the sport. Pablo has also offered his expertise in the Untamed Science video on the Science of Buoyancy.

Kris Holm: Known as one of the pioneers of Mountain Unicycling, Kris is a leader in this extreme sport. We’ve teamed up with Kris to help explain the Science of Unicycling. We’ve also worked up this inspirational unicycling video. Learn more about Kris at his website here.

Dr. Roland Kays: Representing North Carolina State University and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Roland is an integral member of the Sport Science team. Not only have we worked with him in the Science of Unicycling, we’ve also worked with him as an expert on our biology series, including tracking baboons, counting wild deer, and doing interactive science questions online.

Videos for Mass Appeal on Youtube

Youtube provides a great platform for students to learn about science. So many already sit inside watching the videos in their free time. Science educators love learning in this informal setting because it’s a form of teaching without the students really knowing they’re learning. We believe that sports is the ideal platform to educate students about all kinds of stuff. Of  course, at Untamed Science, we have a had time making any video where you don’t learn something. Here is an example video we did for the 2014 World Cup. It’s pretty fun, it was very popular, (35,000 views in two weeks) and I think you’ll end up learning a lot by watching it.

Clearly, these videos have great appeal online. But to make them an even greater learning tool, we’re taking them one step further in the educational loop.

Videos for use in “Flipped Classrooms”

If you haven’t been in the educational arena for a while, you may not know that the “flipped classroom” is the rage these days. Teachers are giving students the assignment of watching short videos and lessons at home. Then, when they come to school, they participate in hands-on activities and discussions related to what they watched at home. The results in the classroom are fantastic. It also means there’s a great demand for solid science content that students and teachers can get excited about.

However, great videos that can be used in the classroom and videos that go viral are not always one and the same. Rob Nelson, CEO at Untamed Science, did his thesis on how to create effective videos for the classroom. One key that people sometimes miss when making videos for schools, is tying in some sort of topic they may already be learning in school. Without that, you’re in trouble. See if you can see the concepts we explored in this video:

Our new sport science program will create and distribute STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) focused films, online information, and companion lesson materials for middle and high school levels that meet today’s national curricula while being entertaining for students and teachers to watch. That means the educational consortium involved in this program will be helping change the course of education of our youth in America and abroad. Explore the Science of Buoyancy here to see how we connect classroom science with the inspiration and information to actually get people outdoors actively trying these sports for themselves. 

Sports Topics

Sport science is a collection of different science disciplines. Physics helps us understand many of the outside dynamics of a sport. Knowing our physiology helps us understand our insides. Biology and chemistry come into play in unique ways as well. Even topics like meteorology and earth science can be explained using sport.

Each physics, physiology, chemistry or human biology topic is used to explain the sport while subtly giving teachers tools to use in their classroom. Potential sport science topics will be developed that may include topics like;

  • Physics of Cycling
  • Science of Archery
  • Why do athletes get cramps
  • How adrenaline effects the body in sports
  • Tendons vs Muscle: Demonstrated with Rock Climbing
  • How bones heal after they break
  • The science of concussions

The Power of Partners

Partners help drive the impact of this educational consortium in developing topics and concepts. By teaming up with Untamed Science, we can collectively fill this void in the educational arena by making some AMAZINGLY awesome sport videos for the public to see on YouTube and students to use in classroom learning. Here is what we’ll be doing with each topic.

  • Design and production of a 3-5 minute film per topic
  • Concept, writing, graphic layout and creation of one middle school, and one high school lesson activity that companions the film topic. Each activity will be written by a qualified science teacher according to educational standards.
  • Creation of topic educational web pages on and partnering institution websites. Website content includes STEM educational information and graphics about the topic
  • Web distribution of the topic film
  • Enabling free download of the middle and high school PDF lesson activities
  • Listing of URL educational resources
  • Adding underwriter logos, URL, and credits

If you’re interested in supporting our educational team in developing specific topic science films and classroom lesson activities in this new sport science initiative, please email

To provide educational background for this new series of sport science videos, we’ve provided online viewing of our most recent sport science videos. As you watch the videos, you’ll likely learn something about a sport you never knew before. You may even learn more about how to optimize training in your own sport simply by taking advantage of the simple science. Maybe you have a particular sport science topic we can explore in a future video that will inspire the next generation make it a sport their own.