Thursday, December 19, 2019


in The Quincy Sun 12/19/19


The Science of Christmas

Kathy Dullea Hogan

In the aftermath of the Quincy Christmas Parade, I want you to know that this year I entered the Christmas Parade Theme contest but didn’t expect to be chosen.  Why?  Because I knew a Science of Christmas theme would need more than a few weeks to prepare a plan for a float.  That’s right, I did suggest the Science of Christmas!  This is a chance to look at this special holiday from a very different point of view – Starting with the story of the first Christmas, combined with celebrations of the season and winter fun.   When you think about it, the possibilities are so many.  And I offer you these ideas to show how it could be done:


·       Astronomy:  The Star of Bethlehem

·       Light waves

·       Electric lights

·       Fireworks on New Year’s Eve


·       Choral singing

·       Bells

·       Holiday music

·       Vibrations, sound waves


·       Christmas trees

·       Recycling those Christmas trees


·       Animals:  donkey, sheep, cow, camel, reindeer


·       North Pole


·       States of matter for water:  ice and snow / water / steam and fog

·       Periodic table.  Identify elements found in some of the above suggestions.  For example, What elements are found in trees and wreaths?

What elements produce different colors in fireworks? 

What elements are used in electric lights? 


·       These sports are all great ways you can learn about physics – Sledding, Skating, Skiing.   Discover energy and gravity, friction, inertia, axis of rotation (skating), and more

through your favorite winter sport.  My blog can give you more on this (see below).


·       Satellites tracking Santa Claus!        

·       The Patriot Ledger does a whimsical page every year on the “physics” of Santa’s trip, some of it possible, some of it needing some imagination and a leap of faith, and maybe a bit of magic, too!        

I’m sure you can think of more ideas.  

Keep in mind:  
* Science is about discovering the principles by which The Great Scientist created this universe.   
* Unlike the man in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, don’t just put on your sleeping cap, put on your thinking cap.   
* Feel free to contact me for ideas.  
* Students, consider this theme to inspire your science fair project.  
* If an individual or a group develops something before April, you might be able to present it at the South Shore Science Festival ( or

Kathy Dullea Hogan is co-chair of the South Shore Science Festival, a part of MIT’s Cambridge Science Festival.  She was thrilled to discover teaching to be her vocation when she was 40.  She founded the Fr. Maurice Dullea, S.J., Athletic Scholarship at Boston College in 1996 and is the author of a blog, Gateway to Science: Sports and Games.  Contact Kathy at


“The First GPS…”
Thanks to

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Science of Basketball multifaceted program in Dallas

Here's a terrific broad-based program in Dallas, from curriculum to workshops and kits and more.  What a wonderful model! ... Kathy

A product of!

Dallas Mavericks Science of Basketball Program

The Dallas Mavericks and Flowserve partnered with Dallas Independent School District for the Dallas Mavericks Science of Basketball program presented by Flowserve to provide engaging programs to students in the Dallas area.


The Dallas mavericks Science of Basketball provides a mechanism for elementary and middle school students to improve their academic performance. Our goal is to translate the love of basketball into an appreciation, understanding, and passion of the science and mathematics underlying the sport.

Program Details:

  • Developed a Dallas Mavericks Science of Basketball 10-lesson curriculum for schools to use in the classroom or after school program
  • Hosted a teacher workshop for 20 5th and 6th grade level teachers
  • Developed 20 Science of Basketball Kits including all the classroom materials and sporting equipment needed to implement at the school
  • Provided assessment and evaluation on student growth and teacher effectiveness
  • Developed website for teachers to access curriculum, worksheets, and online resources
  • Provided a Mavericks Science of Basketball 1-day student camp for 100 students


  • More than 2,000 students
  • More than 20 teachers
  • 10 schools participated in the program

Science of Baseball teacher training in Oakland

If you're a teacher from the Oakland area, see if this is being offered again in 2019. ... Kathy   

Another terrific offering from

Oakland A’s Science of Baseball Teacher Workshop

Attention Oakland Teachers!
The Oakland A’s Science of Baseball presented by Chevron is hosting an Oakland A’s Science of Baseball Teacher Workshop to Oakland area teachers! This unique opportunity is absolutely free of charge! Here is some information about the event:
Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Time: 9am until 1pm
Location: Oakland Coliseum
Each teacher will receive professional development credit for attending, a curriculum workbook with 15 Science of Baseball lessons that align with California State Standards, a kit of materials needed to implement the curriculum in the classroom, and tickets to the Teacher Appreciation game that night versus the Toronto Blue Jays!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Lacrosse Physics, illustrated introduction

An Introduction

Lacrosse player producing torque --
a turning force, just as you produce torque when hula hooping.

                    Image result for black and white drawing, hula hoop turning

                      Your energy overcomes the force of gravity.
           Image result for black and white drawing, swing at lacrosse ball                  

Trajectory of any ball:  forms the shape of an arc --
this is the trajectory of a ball in motion
                            Vector illustration of the logo for basketball, consisting of flying on a trajectory basketball ball, thrown exactly in the ring with net; target hit

Lacrosse ball at the end of its trajectory -- ready to be caught!



Your arm works as a lever --

                                                     Image result for black and white drawings, arm as a lever
You have a longer lever when you hold a lacrosse stick.

                 Image result for black and white drawings, arm as a lever

In this picture the shovel acts as a lever, too -- 
just as a lacrosse stick is a lever.