Using Newton’s three laws of motion to explain how hockey players are able to quickly stop and pass the puck, shoot a hard-hitting slap shot and make a great save, the Los Angeles Kings and Northrop Grumman encouraged middle school students to take greater interest in science and math during National Engineers Week.
The four-day “Science of Hockey” event took place at the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Kings’ training facility in El Segundo, Calif., and was led by Northrop Grumman engineer T.J. Mathieson.
“The real-life application of educational concepts is definitely a winning approach,” said Mathieson who played ice hockey for the University of Notre Dame. “When explaining how friction is used to spur motion on ice and how angles influence the probability of scoring, I had their full attention. The questions the students asked showed their high level of interest and understanding.”
The event is the latest example of the company’s educational outreach to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and inspire them to pursue science and technical careers.
Kings defensemen Davis Drewiske and Rob Scuderi and team broadcaster Jim Fox were also on hand to answer questions and skate with students.
“This partnership goes a long way to help kids experience education in a practical way,” said Fox, a former Kings player. “There are so many different ways in which science impacts and helps us understand the sport of hockey, from how best to create and clean the ice surface to how much energy builds up in a stick before a shot is taken. The team enjoyed getting the kids out of their regular classrooms and into our workplace. It was great fun for all.”
The event complements other entertaining National Engineers Week competitions that the company held for employees and students nationwide from El Segundo, Palmdale, Redondo Beach and San Diego, Calif., to its Bethpage, N.Y., and Melbourne and St. Augustine, Fla., sites. The activities included software challenges; “cangineering,” where teams constructed company products from canned food later donated to food banks; and egg-drop, balsa wood tower construction and pasta bridge building contests.