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This weekend is the Superbowl, Sunday, February 6, 2011 – 6:30pm ET. It’s the Pittsburgh Steelers  vs. Green Bay Packers. Like many busy people with a of couple jobs, I didn’t know anything about these teams and didn’t realize it was football season, but I admire the skill, dedication, and technology that goes into the game and the broadcasts. That said, last week’s State of the Union had an interesting quote from the president.

We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.

OK, what can we do? Spend 20 minutes during the half-time show and showcase some national science fair winners? I don’t think force feeding some science during a sports game will help celebrate anything. We’ll just flip the channels waiting for some “crazy ad” we’ll all be talking about on Monday. Most people I know who are really into science, engineering, art, and design aren’t really into watching dudes smash each other between beer commercials. Alternatively, I don’t expect football fans to think about science fairs on game day either. Why should they? It’s football time.

There’s likely a way to bring the “science of the game” to a broader audience. The materials used for equipment are “space age” — the technology for the broadcast is intense. Overlays, tons of CGI, and live effects for portions — it’s all very cool and all made by very science-oriented people. But really, who cares?

I can’t imagine a nation celebrating Nobel Prize winners the same way we celebrate a football team, the USA does pretty well with winning many types of science awards, but the closest thing I can think of was the footage and stories I saw of the moon-landing astronauts after they got back.

For all the makers who are doing something besides watching the Super Bowl this weekend, post up in the comments: what are you doing? What are you celebrating? For the football fans, would you like to see some of the science tech of football? Is it a realistic goal to hope we celebrate science fair winners like Super Bowl teams?

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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