STEM Tuesday — STEM in Sports– Book List

If all goes well, the Summer Olympics will begin with an opening ceremony on July 23 in Tokyo, Japan. Just as vital as the athletes competing in Olympic sports are the scientists and engineers behind the equipment and technology used in those sports.

Sports Science & Technology in the Real World by Janet Slingerland

Discover how scientists, engineers, and mathematicians are using science to help athletes – and how this same technology is being used in everyday applications. This book provides a peek into the cutting-edge technology being developed and includes primary source sidebars and discussion questions. 

Super Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up by Jennifer Swanson

Nanotechnology and sports? Using a fun voice, easily understood analogies, and great graphics, this book explores the molecular properties of nanoparticles and the amazing developments that scientists have made in using harnessing them to improve the clothing, shoes, and equipment of athletes. Side bars and “Science in Action!” experiments help demonstrate and explain this cutting-edge science.

The 12 Biggest Breakthroughs in Sports Technology by Janet Slingerland

This book puts the “E” in Stem. Individual chapters focus on topics such as motion capture tech and engineered fibers to improvements in equipment. Some tech allows players the advantage of playing winter sports in non-traditional climates, while other tech brings the sports closer to spectators. And some – such as instant replay – have changed how the events unfold on the field.

STEM in Sports: Engineering by Tim Newcomb [Series – Science (by Jim Gigliotti), Technology & Math (by James Buckley, JR).

From increasing brain speed and reaction time to high-tech clothing and improved protection devices, engineering helps athletes in sports. This book also examines engineering’s role in designing stadiums, fields, arenas, and specialized equipment. It includes “Text-dependent questions” and research projects.

Learning STEM From Baseball: How Does A Curveball Curve? And Other Amazing Answers for Kids! by Marne Ventura

Numerous sciences play a role in baseball. From physics to virtual reality, engineering to woodworking this book does a great job of introducing many of the ways science, math, and technology have interacted throughout baseball’s history. The in-depth endnotes offer great resources for further exploration.

STEM In Sports: [Snowboarding/Hockey/Soccer/Football/Figure Skating/Baseball/Basketball/Auto Racing] (multiple authors)

This photo-illustrated series examines the unique STEM elements involved in 8 different sports, including – Auto Racing (drag, telemetry, speed, and engineered safety barriers and banking), Figure Skating (friction, momentum, motion, software, and math), and Snowboarding (gravity, friction, kinetic energy, and engineered equipment and courses).

Science Behind Sports: [Equestrian/Wrestling/Taekwondo/Gymnastics/Surfing/Skiing/Ice Hockey/ Cycling/Soccer/Football/ Basketball/Baseball/Snowboarding](multiple authors)

Using photos, graphs, charts & illustrations, each of the 13 books in the series explores in-depth the origins, rules, biomechanics, and equipment engineering of each sport. As well as how various sciences are used in the individual sports, such as Equestrian (physics [motion/ weight/gravity], environmental factors, genetics, and psychology), Gymnastics (physics [planes of motion/momentum/friction], mathematics, medical, and psychology), and Surfing (physics [motion/gravity/torque/buoyancy], atmospheric science, and medical). 

The Secret Science of Sports: The Math, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering Behind Every Grand Slam, Triple Axel, and Penalty Kick by Jennifer Swanson (releases July 21st)

Believe it or not, every sport involves science, from physics (laws of motion and balance) and biology (body and brain science) to technology (equipment and clothing) and math (statistics and vectors). With a conversational tone, graphics, fun experiments, and an examination of the strategic elements of each, this engaging book looks at a wide range of sports from baseball, swimming, wrestling, tennis, and lacrosse, as well as many others.

STEM Jobs in Sports by Rick Raymos

This book explains the roles which nutritionists, statisticians, sports engineers, athletic shoe designers, sports doctor/team physicians, dieticians, and athletic software engineers play in sports. It includes “STEM in Action” activities for each profession and culminates in “job fact sheets.”

Sports Medicine: Science, Technology, Engineering by Josh Gregory

Following a quick look at early medicine and technological breakthroughs, this photo-illustrated book delves into the medical professionals, technologies, diagnostics, and surgical procedures which prevent and repair sports injuries. It also offers medical “career stats.” 

The Book of Wildly Spectacular Sports Science: 54 All-Star Experiments by Sean Connolly

Seven fun chapters examine the science around 32 sports, the usual suspects as well as others like trampolines, pole vaulting, hang gliding, and sailing. Using a conversational vernacular and comic-like illustrations, each entry explains an aspect of the sport then sets up an experiment, using sports puns – The Lineup (ingredients), Play Ball! (experiment), Two-minute warning (special advice), and So-Mo Replay (explanation of the science).


Author Sue Heavenrich

Sue Heavenrich writes about science for children and their families, from space to backyard ecology. Bees, flies, squirrel behavior—things she observes in her neighborhood and around her home—inspire her writing. Visit her at

Writer Maria Marshall

Maria Marshall is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She’s been a judge for the Cybils Awards from 2017 to present. And a judge for the #50PreciousWords competition since its inception. Her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018, 2016, and 2014-2015 anthologies. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at


STEM Tuesday
STEM books ENGAGE. EXCITE. and INSPIRE! Join us each week as a group of dedicated STEM authors highlight FUN topics, interesting resources, and make real-life connections to STEM in ways that may surprise you. #STEMRocks!