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News Release 11-090

"Science of the Olympic Winter Games" and "Science of NFL Football" Win Sports Emmy

National Science Foundation partners NBC Learn and NBC Sports Group recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Quarterback receives the snap from the offensive center on the left and ice skater on the right.

The science of skating, skiing and jumping and blocking, kicking and passing win Emmy award.

May 5, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Scientific principles explored last year in two online video series called "Science of the Olympic Winter Games" and "Science of NFL Football" have earned and a Sports Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches Sports Programming.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the award Monday at the 32nd Annual Sports Emmy® Awards in New York.

"This is wonderful news," said Jeff Nesbit, director of the National Science Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. NSF partnered with NBC Learn and the NBC Sports Group to create and present the series.

"Science of the Olympic Winter Games" revealed the science behind how athletes skate, ski, jump and curl their way to winter Olympic gold and "Science of NFL Football" illustrated how football players throw a spiraled pass, block an opponent and score a touchdown.  By capitalizing on the power and appeal of sports, both series delivered engaging and unique science content to students and adults.

Narrated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt, the two series combined the state-of-the-art video production capabilities of NBCUniversal with the expertise of NSF-supported scientists and the athletic skills of more than a dozen Winter Olympians and former NFL athletes, who described how principles of science apply to their respective sports.

In addition, NBC Learn offered its extensive educational reach to bring the content to students and educators across the United States.  Both series ran on and as well as

"Science of the Olympic Winter Games" and "Science of NFL Football" were the first "Science of Sports" projects involving NSF, NBC Learn and the NBC Sports Group.

"When we started this project we wanted to use the popularity of sports to present a range and depth of science to a huge American audience, including young people across the United States. It's nice to see the academy reward those efforts," said Nesbit.

Both Emmy award winning series can be seen online on the NBC Learn and NSF websites.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:
Meghan Pianta, NBC News, (212) 664-2364, email:

Program Contacts
Susan M. Mason, NSF, (703) 292-7748, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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