The Physics of Extreme Sports: Tony Hawk Rad Science Exhibition at NYSCI

Get children excited about physics and science by making the worthwhile trip to Queens to view the The Tony Hawk | Rad Science exhibition at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). The exhibition, created in partnership with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, runs February 2 through April 22. It reveals the physics of extreme sports through engaging activities and demonstrations.

Tony Hawk became the first person to successfully complete a “900” (two-and-a-half revolutions in mid-air) — a feat not repeated for another five years by others.  He was a living, breathing example of gravity, force, velocity, inertia and balance at play.

“Fans of NYSCI know we always look for inventive, unexpected ways to engage people—especially schoolchildren—in understanding science, technology, engineering and math,” said Margaret Honey, President and CEO of NYSCI. “With Tony Hawk | Rad Science, we’re taking science vertical and revealing the hidden physics that make extreme sports tricks possible.”

“Physics is everything in skateboarding,” said Tony Hawk. “So much of what we do on a skateboard is learn to make physics work for us. I hope that by demonstrating that in this exhibit, we’re helping to make science more interesting and fun – especially for kids who may not have considered that skateboarding and science are actually related.”

Tony Hawk | Rad Science is free with general NYSCI admission and includes more than 25 experiences such as:

  • Bodacious Board Balance: Ride stationary skateboards designed to test your balance in classic tricks like “grinding” and “manuals” on the safety of a padded surface.
  • 900 Vert Theatre: Watch a short video and see the first time Tony Hawk ever successfully completed the “900” (2.5 revolutions in mid air) in competition.
  • Radical Trick Breakdown: Using slow motion video frame-by-frame, break down the four most common skateboarding street tricks.
  • Create-a-Skate: Learn the science behind skateboards including design, engineering, wood selection, production and accessorizing.
  • History Bowl: Compare milestones in physics history to major accomplishments in the history of skateboarding and skateboard design. Plus, see Tony Hawk’s first skateboard.
  • Video Game Physics: Use your knowledge of physics to control Tony Hawk’s ride through a virtual skate park.
  • Loop of Centripetal Force: Using plastic balls, attempt the 360-degree “loop of death.” Watch videos of skateboarders who have succeeded and failed at this trick.
  • Friction Hill: Encounter three different surfaces and see how the surface affects motion.

NYSCI’s science instructors and Explainers are developing a series of inquiry activities and pre- and post-visit materials to enhance the educational aspects of Tony Hawk | Rad Science, especially for school field trips. In addition, NYSCI will present public programs that provide an introduction to skating, and skate culture:

Rad Gear: Extreme Safety and Style – February 16, 2013; noon – 4 pm
See and sample products that aid in the safety and support of skating, biking and other forms of adventure sports. Put your individual stamp on sporting gear by making your own. Free with NYSCI admission.

Radical Tricks with TORRO! SKATEBOARDS NYC – March 9, 2013; noon – 4 pm
Pro-skater and Queens native, Rodney Torres, and the TORRO skateboard team will bring to life skateboarding tricks featured in Tony Hawk | Rad Science. Free with NYSCI admission.

Skate Day – March 23, 2013; noon – 4 pm
Design your own skateboard, experiment with ramps, and learn the fundamentals of skateboarding with a Go Skate pro skateboarder. Thirty-minute, Beginner and Advanced Beginner sessions offered. Space is limited. Free with NYSCI admission.

Rad Workshop Part One – March 29, 2013; 11 am-2 pm
Learn the basics of controllers to make a wearable, electronic turn signal for rad—and safe—biking and skating. $20 per project plus NYSCI admission; $15 NYSCI members. Space is limited; pre-registration required.

Skate Day – April 20, 2013; noon – 4 pm
Learn the fundamentals of skateboarding, including safety and stunts, with a Go Skate pro skateboarder. Thirty-minute, Beginner and Advanced Beginner sessions offered. Space is limited. Free with NYSCI admission.

Rad Workshop Part Two – April 20, 2013; noon – 3 pm
Learn the basics of 3-D modeling to design and print your own finger skateboard with a 3D printer. $20 per project, plus NYSCI admission; $15 NYSCI members. Space is limited; pre-registration required.


About the New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations and design spaces that explain science, technology, engineering and math. In February and March, NYSCI is open 9:30 am – 5 pm Tuesday – Friday, and 10 am – 6 pm on weekends. In April, NYSCI is open 9:30 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday, and 10 am – 6 pm on weekends. Tickets, which can be purchased at the NYSCI box office, are $11 for adults and $8 for children (ages 2-17), college students with valid ID, and seniors (62+). For groups of 10 or more, call 718-699-0301. NYSCI is located at 4701 111th Street in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. Take the 7 train to 111th Street. For driving directions, and other information, visit or call 718-699-0005. Follow us on Twitter:, Facebook:, and Tumblr:

4701 111th Street
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY 11368

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