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Vail Valley ski and snowboard students showcase ski physics

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Vail Ski and Snowbaord Academy students in Miles McGeehan’s physics class have found a delicate balance of both logic and imagination, evident in the year-long research projects they have created and will showcase to the public next week.

The academy’s students and staff are inviting the public to their Ski Physics Symposium at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Battle Mountain High School lecture hall. Junior and senior students will present independent research projects covering ski waxes, forces in courses, park jump theory and forces in freestyle terrain.

Each student spent several days collecting data on the ski mountain this year using high-speed video cameras and remote 3D accelerometers, which are devices that collect a record of accelerations in three dimensions.



Video footage and accelerometer data was analyzed using Logger Pro, sophisticated software that allows students to dissect or model the data using mathematical formulas. Students spent countless hours analyzing and interpreting this data in order to generate conclusions.

Students developed their own topic and investigative procedures, interviewed industry professionals, researched source documents, discovered and utilized a variety of technologies to assist their work (including high speed video cameras, Google Sketchup, iMovie, Screenflow, Vernier Logger Pro, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint) and communicated their findings in a variety of ways.



“I feel we’ve encountered a really cool focus for our ski and snowboard athletes,” says McGeehan. “Using their motion on the slopes to study physics has really motivated and engaged students beyond belief. I’m very proud of each of our students for their hard work, long hours and perseverance.”

For more information, please contact Miles McGeehan at miles.mcgeehan@eagleschools.net or 303-921-9609.


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