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Ducks and Samueli Foundation Team withDiscovery Science Center for Free Science of Hockey Curriculum for Local Eighth-Grade Students

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
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Melissa Folkerts is learning about motion and distance based on the space between a hockey rink's center red line and the goal line. Adam JeyaRajah is determining projectile velocity by examining the top speed of a slap shot.


They're both part of a group of 3,500 eighth grade students from the Newport Mesa and Placentia/Yorba Linda Unified School Districts who now have the opportunity to learn about physics in a creative and interactive way through the Science of Hockey program.

The Ducks, in partnership with the Samueli Foundation, have teamed with the Discovery Science Center (DSC) in Santa Ana to develop a new curriculum for local students based on the Science of Hockey exhibit at the 59,000 square foot learning facility.

“We’re very excited to have developed a curriculum based on the physics and the science of hockey for eighth-grade students and teachers,” said Janet Yamaguchi, vice president of education at Discovery Science Center. “We’re able to develop a program where the teachers come here, learn about the physics of hockey and integrate it into the curriculum they’re already doing in the classroom. Then the students are able to perform some activities at school and come here and see it all come to life.”

Funded by the Samueli Foundation, the program focuses on California’s eighth grade science content standards (forces and motion), and includes a free field trip to DSC in early March, which allowed students to apply concepts in an interactive manner at the Science of Hockey exhibition. While at DSC, students were able to use the provided curriculum workbook as a guide to the hands-on experience at the exhibit. A total of 10 activity points were included in the workbook that can be tested within the Science of Hockey exhibition (ex: a puck’s speed from a slap shot, properties of ice, reaction time, etc.).

“I think it really gives a visual image of what we’re learning in class,” said eighth-grader Folkerts of Costa Mesa Middle School, who took part in the field trip. “I think that makes things so much easier.”

The Science of Hockey program also includes a kit of instructional materials, an instructional DVD featuring Anaheim Ducks players with introductory clips of concepts covered in the curriculum.

“It really teaches kids how to put things like sports and other things in life into perspective with math and science,” said JeyaRajah, also from Costa Mesa Middle School. "I think it’s really great.”

Each group of students is led through the program by a teacher who went through a two-hour professional development session. “This is fantastic for them to be able to take real-life experiences and activities that they get to perform and be able to come back to the classroom and break it down into science and math,” said one of those instructors, Costa Mesa Middle School science teacher Ed Bell. “It makes it far more meaningful and relevant to the learning process.”


About the Science of Hockey

The Science of Hockey exhibit at Discovery Science Center, created in partnership with the Anaheim Ducks, NHL and USA Hockey opened in April 2009. The 3,000 square foot permanent space is the largest interactive and educational hockey exhibition in the United States. The Samueli Foundation and Anaheim Ducks Foundation contributed $2 million to fund the project. Located on DSC’s second floor, the Science of Hockey turns the excitement of a hockey game into an interactive learning experience. Visitors to the state-of-the-art exhibit will explore how physics and physiology relate to the game. Divided into two parts, the Ice Rink portion includes science lessons taught through elements visible within Honda Center during a Ducks game, and the Locker Room portion includes science lessons taught behind-the-scenes before the Ducks suit up for a practice or game. Such lessons include discovering the properties of ice while riding a Zamboni® and learning Newton’s laws of motion through virtual exhibits like “Be the Goalie” and “Be the Shooter.”
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