Drag Racing at Nesaquake

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Sixth graders from Nesaquake Middle School are taking their dragsters to the runaway and racing against each other in Sean Tomasello’s technology class in November. As part of the Project Lead the Way science of technology class, the students were tasked with designing and fabricating their own dragster.

The students were given a 10-inch pine wedge to begin the project. Their goal was to design and produce a vehicle that would travel a given distance in the shortest amount of time when powered by compressed air. The students needed to apply the design process that they learned in the design and modeling unit to solve problems. 

Using problem-solving skills, group dynamics and research skills, they designed and built a model of a vehicle. Project requirements – such as length of car, distance of axles, thickness between the wheels and more – were considered as they designed the vehicle so it would travel a distance in the shortest amount of time when powered by compressed air as its fuel.

Students fabricated their most aerodynamic design as they went head to head in time trials against their classmates. The time trials were also an important aspect of the project, as they support the claim of the best design.