NASA’s AstrOlympics Combine Science and The 2018 Winter Olympics


Photo courtesy of

NASA has been inspired by the athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics to create six posters that explain physics concepts such as rotation, density and acceleration, with examples from the Olympics, according to

“We had the idea to use the Olympic Games as a way to show the similarities — and the differences — between what happens out there and down here,” stated Megan Watzke, a member of the NASA team at the Chandra X-ray center in an interview with the Matador Messenger.

These posters contain images of an everyday object and an athlete from the Olympics doing a stunt that relates to the physics term. For example, on a poster NASA showed a picture of a dog and an image of curling ( a game played on ice with a large, round, flat stone) to explain the concept of mass, according to

“Probably the most challenging thing was to find specific numbers for the various science topics we were measuring,” stated Megan Watzke in an interview with the Matador Messenger.

The first AstrOlympics were created for the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio. The point of this project is to open up a discussion that talks about the connection between space and sports, according to

The AstrOlympics projects showcase both the athletes from the Summer Olympics and the athletes from the Winter Olympics, according to

The AstrOlympics projects include a series of posters, videos, and websites. All the materials are available for free download, according to

“Even though it took a lot of work, we’re really happy with how it all turned out,” stated  Megan Watzke in an interview with the Matador Messenger.

Readers interested in learning more about the AstrOlympics can visit