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The Physics of Ski Jumping

Olympic ski jumpers speed down a big hill and launch themselves off a ramp into the air, hoping to achieve the farthest jump to beat their competitors. In this story, a physicist explains the science behind ski jumpers’ ability to stay in the air so long. She discusses how gravity, air pressure, the skiers’ body position, and their clothing impact their success. Listen to hear more about the physics behind Olympic ski jumpers’ amazing feats.

Note: Amy Pope's article about ski jumping was originally published by The Conversation and was republished by Smithsonian magazine.


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Story Length: 2:37

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What was one of Malala Yousafzai’s first experiences with the dangers of religious extremism?
  • After miraculously surviving her attack, what has Malala focused her work on?
  • What is the message that Malala is trying to send to those in power?
  • What does Malala want to do in the future?
  • What are the goals of Malala’s mission to support girls?

Discussion Themes

  • What is your opinion on Malala’s message about the power of education?
  • Why do you think that ISIS might want to silence people like Malala?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234