Ice can be inherently uninteresting. By itself, we all know it’s water, just extremely cold water. And it is far from uncommon to see ice in the cold months of winter, that’s natural. What’s a little surprising is to see ice growing indoors, in the middle of summer and in the heart of the south.
Hockey arenas across the world play host to this fascinating activity, among other scientific quandaries. The time it takes John Tavares
to release the puck from his stick is physics. The way a Zamboni cleans the ice is chemistry. All aspects of hockey have science at their base and now there’s a chance to learn about that direct correlation.
The New York Islanders have teamed up with the Long Island Science Center to create a special evening for classes of all levels, Science Night. The night includes a special pre-game presentation from the Long Island Science Center with demonstrations covering puck movement, skating, Zamboni operation and the formation of the ice. This year’s Science Night is Oct. 29 when the Islanders face-off against the Montreal Canadiens in a 7 p.m. start. Science Night activities begin at 4:30 p.m.
Last year was the first Science Night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and, like many originals, its success lead to this upcoming sequel. Lou Gittler, a Physics Teacher at Sayville High School, thought it would be a unique experience for his students outside the classroom, so he brought his class to the Coliseum for last year’s event.
I want to relate physics to the real world and it’s really easy to do that with ice hockey. Everything that happens at a hockey game is physics principles and a lot of the students enjoy learning about physics when it relates to sports, so it’s a win-win situation.” - Lou Gittler
“I want to relate physics to the real world and it’s really easy to do that with ice hockey,” Gittler said. “Everything that happens at a hockey game is physics principles and a lot of the students enjoy learning about physics when it relates to sports, so it’s a win-win situation.”
Hockey fans and players alike may not always read that much into the physics of the game because after a while it becomes a natural occurrence, as with the players who read the plays before they happen on the ice due to the physics of the sport.
“When a puck is played off the boards, the angle it comes back off at is a physics principle,” Gittler said. “The reaction time of a goalie is a perfect physics principle. Depending on how hard a player shoots a puck and where from, one can then figure out exactly how much time the goalie has to react. Stuff like that is really cool and the students enjoy it.”
After the pre-game presentation, the science classes are welcomed into the game to watch physics happen right in front of them in the fastest game on ice.
“We saw the Islanders beat the Blackhawks last year,” Gittler said. “That gave the kids some added enjoyment for sure, as most of them are Islanders fans.”
It would seem like the Coliseum goal horn sounds a little better than the school bell to signal the end of class.
Spots for the Islanders Science Night are limited and at just $29 per person, tickets will not last. If you are interested in signing up, call and reserve your tickets today! For more information please call 1.800.882 ISLES Ext. 3 or send an email to GroupSales@NewYorkIslanders.com