News / USA

Children Learn about Science from Race Cars

Children Learn About Science from Race Carsi
X
September 27, 2013 12:47 AM
Students get a close-up look at Indy Cars before a recent grand prix race in downtown Baltimore
Deborah Block
— A race track became a classroom for some Maryland students as they learned about science and engineering from open top Indy race cars.  The IndyCar organization collaborated with educators to make science fun and encourage students to consider a career in the field. 

Indy Cars go well over 320 kilometers per hour.  The students got a close-up look at the cars before a recent grand prix race in downtown Baltimore.

Then they went to tents by the race course to learn how tires grip the road surface. The students used a sensor to learn about friction by comparing smooth and rough materials.

Ten-year-old Jhanaijia Daughtrey thought learning about the tires was interesting, especially because she is considering becoming an engineer.

“The Indy Car surface is smoother so that they can easily go around the streets, and the regular tire has grooves in it, so I guess it can basically do anywhere," said Daughtrey.

Science teacher Kathryn Spivey says these activities show the students how what they’re learning in school applies in the real world.

“It gave them a chance to do science hands-on with equipment we can’t afford to put in the classroom, and they were able to see what we’re talking about when we talk about being safe and friction and motion," said Spivey.

These children can learn a lot about science and engineering from Indy Cars, says driver Ed Carpenter.

“Everything that we do here with these race cars, whether what keeps us safe in an accident or what’s helping us go fast on the  track, it’s an engineering-driven sport, which the heart of it is math and science," said Carpenter.

IndyCar sponsors the Future of Fast program with Project Lead the Way.  The group provides science, technology, engineering and mathematics course material to U.S. schools.  The idea behind the demonstrations is to expose kids to new ideas, says Vince Bertram, head of the organization.  

“It’s one thing to just enjoy the speed and the track experience, but when you really start to understand the technical issues and how these cars are designed and put together, that’s exciting and it's engaging for our students," said Bertram.

The children also got to learn about race track safety barriers.  Using paper, Styrofoam, straws and glue, the students create their own small barriers.  An instrument measures the wall force as the barrier is hit by a small car.

Shane Gorman explains the result.   

“If you have it thicker, rather than thinner, it makes a much better barrier," said Gorman.

Brennan Radke was surprised to learn that a real safety wall is not made out of concrete.

“I think that if it was just a concrete wall, then the car would get really demolished, but because it was made of Styrofoam and steel, I don’t think it would damage the car as much," said Radke.

The Future of Fast program began last year with events in several cities.  The hope is that more children will get interested in science and engineering.  And the IndyCar racing circuit hopes to gain some young fans.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid