Boise Students race CO2 dragsters to learn about STEM

Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 20:29:08-05

Science is speeding down the track at 60 miles an hour in Boise schools. On Friday, the top 16 students from 9th-grade technology classes district-wide used STEM education to race to the checkered flag using CO2 dragsters.

"It's fun to see them work from a block of wood all the way to the final product and watch it race," said North Junior High Teacher, Chris Armstrong.

For months, the students have been modifying and testing the small wooden cars to get every mile per hour they can get out of them. All of them followed strict engineering guidelines and practices to design, build and test their racers. Subjects like aerodynamics, physics, and kinetic energy usually make students squirm, but add some wheels and competition, and many students will say yes to learning Newton's Laws all day long.

"This was quite the adventure we started with just the idea," said student Max Collins. "We did 3D models to begin our process to see what we needed. Some of us did shell cars which is where you hollow out the inside of your car and put the wheels in, and others put the wheels on the outside."

While the winners of the fastest cars walk home with trophies, for the educators all of the students who combined math technology engineering and science to make their cars zip and zoom is a winner.

"My personal favorite part is seeing all the creating of the cars. The scientific approach the artist approach, just seeing all the kids and what they are able to create," said Armstrong.

North Junior High, this year's host school, walked away Best In Show and most overall points. The fastest car came out of Hillside Junior High which clocked well over 60 miles an hour.