Siegrist Elementary students felt the need for speed last week.
A special comprehensive project allowed fifth grade science students to learn about automobile design. They designed, constructed and then raced their own model cars during a special assembly on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in the school’s cafeteria.
The project began eight days earlier with students researching designs, creating blueprints and then constructing the cars. The races took place in the Styro Speedway Spectacular.
The students constructed the cars using a block of Styrofoam carved into the shape of their design. They were completed with plastic wheels.
The cars had to meet specified weight and length requirements.
All of the cars were built by the students during school hours to ensure the students were the ones putting in the effort for their own designs and to avoid parents from assisting in the construction of the cars. The idea came from the Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby where kids would carve and construct their own cars and race them.
For the past few weeks, students have been learning about force, motion and simple machines, and this project brought all of the concepts together while providing a real world application to better understand the material.
A preliminary race determined the top 20 cars for a final race held later in the day. Siegrist Elementary teachers Trevor Short, Bret Bogart and Tamara Whitaker conducted the final race with the entire fifth grade class in attendance.
Nine finalists were awarded trophies while a larger trophy was awarded to the grand champion Zack Walls. Other finalists included Zack Rhodes, J.D. Moore, Chris Morgan, Carmen Gentilia, Noah Cotter, Michael Luna, Emerson Perry, Joshua Nelson and Emma Lyn Burnett.