DETROIT (WWJ) – There’s plenty of hockey fans in Metro Detroit, but how many know the science behind the sport? Delve into the scientific side of hockey during a free exhibit Thursday and Friday at the Joe Lewis Arena during the Great Lakes Invitational.

Michigan Technological University’s Steve Patchin will present the “Mind Trekkers Science of Hockey” exhibit during the two-day college tournament. Patchin told WWJ’s Brian Larsen there are several learning opportunities in hockey.

“They can use some of the flexible sticks that we’ve got down here and they can measure how fast their slap-shot or wrist-shot is. They can also get on what we call the Wingate Test, which is a bike that they pedal on, which is used as a combine in both football and hockey and many other major sports, to test the durability of all the athletes,” said Patchin.

Fans can also “walk on water” at the event, with a little help from a science experiment.

“It’s a mixture of cornstarch and water, you can make it at home, and we set it up in a big trough. When you step on it, it actually turns to a solid below your feet and if you stop, you sink into it of course, and when you try to get out it turns to a solid around you and grabs you like your mother would before you go to college,” said Patchin.

The Science of Hockey exhibit is free with admission to the Great Lakes Invitational, which takes place Dec. 29 and Dec. 30, beginning at 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at, the Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (without service charge), at all Ticketmaster locations, or by phone at 800-745-3000.


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