Young fans learn there’s a science to Seahawks’ success

February 5, 2014

By Neil Pierson

As the Seattle Seahawks prepared last week for Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey, some of their youngest fans back home found a unique way to connect with them.

Members of Cub Scout Troop 545 – a group of second- and third-grade students who attend McAuliffe Elementary School – joined forces for a special pack meeting known as “Science of the Seahawks.”

Aiden Gavin, left, and Alex Dreher use their math skills to calculate the number of Skittles candies Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch could consume during a game.   Photo by Neil Pierson

Aiden Gavin, left, and Alex Dreher use their math skills to calculate the number of Skittles candies Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch could consume during a game. Photo by Neil Pierson

The scouts typically hold their meetings at McAuliffe, and their Jan. 28 gathering turned into a spirited affair thanks to the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl appearance in eight years.

Most of the youngsters wore Seahawks apparel as they fused their love for football with various scientific principles.

“There is no better way to get kids excited about math and science than incorporating a bunch of Seahawks stuff,” said Sarah Gavin, the mother of troop members Jack and Aiden Gavin.

The boys split into four groups to work on various projects – a “Beast Quake” seismograph modeled on the world-record-setting noise at CenturyLink Field; converting Skittles, the favorite snack of running back Marshawn Lynch, into energy; comparing body types with an NFL player; and creating secret codes to deal with the raucous 12th Man.

The scouts brought cereal boxes with them to create the seismographs. Using the boxes and several other household items, they built pendulums designed to measure vibrations at home while watching the Super Bowl.

At CenturyLink Field in Seattle, seismographs in the area have measured 1-2 magnitude earthquakes during games, most notably during two Lynch “Beast Mode” touchdown runs in the playoffs.

The scouts measured their height, weight, resting heart rate, active heart rate and blood pressure and compared them to the average NFL player. They also did a 40-yard dash to see where they matched up with the typical pro player’s time of 4.5 seconds.

In a separate room, music played loudly while the boys tried to accomplish some basic tasks. In some cases, they had to communicate with hand signals to spin, dance, jump and move various objects around the room.

The lesson was based on the ear-splitting noise at CenturyLink Field – fans set a world record of 137.6 decibels during a December game against New Orleans – and how opposing offenses must cope through silent communication.

Using their math skills, the scouts were able to calculate how many Skittles candies were needed to power Lynch during a game.

There are 231 calories in a 2-ounce bag of Skittles, and Lynch can burn about 750 calories an hour during a game. Therefore, during a typical three-hour game, he could devour more than nine bags.

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