STEM Field Trips at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Field Trips tie math and science to motorsports to create a fun and entertaining learning experience.
The STEM Field Trip will last approximately 3 hours.
The students will rotate through 5 stations - each activity will take 25 minutes and we've allowed 5 minutes to rotate to the next station.
This curriculum is based on a 5th - 7th grade level
Minimum number of students 45
Maximum number of students 120
1. Track Tour
The students will take a guided tour and will see the banking of the track and other engineering/design features of the 1.5 mile speedway. Students will determine the speed of the van based on the time it took to go around the track.
The materials for this station are: three block cars made with a different material on the bottom (indoor carpet, Formica, rubber conveyor belting); adjustable ramps with the same surface as the cars; spring scale; spray water bottle.
The objective is to determine the inclination, angle and rise to run, at which each combination of tire surface (bottom of the car) and road surface initiates sliding. In addition, the conveyor belting surface can be misted with the water bottle to illustrate why race cars with slicks don’t race in the rain.
The materials for this station are: 2 adjustable ramps; die cast cars; tape measures; stop watches. The purpose of this station is to explore the velocity of a car moving down a slope as the angle increases. The speed of the car is to be determined as it rolls down the ramp at varying angles.
This station uses a US Legends Car; scales; jack. With the car placed on scales, the students will learn that the weight of each wheel refers to the fraction of the total weight carried by each wheel. They will also learn about "cross weight" and what how the fraction of weight changes per tire when the wedge bolt or jack bolt is adjusted.
5. Radio Controlled Cars (RC Cars)
This station uses an RC car; bumpers; stop watches; 1 extra set of tires. The students will race the car from a pre-determined Point A to Point B and then back to Point A; change all 4 tires (this extra set of tires will be of a different texture); race the car down the same path. Students will time each race and make determinations based on each tire texture.
During each exercise, the students will record the data, and then make a prediction based on that data. The cost is $15 dollars per student and lunch is not provided.
The CMS STEM Field Trip was developed by the Ten80 Student Racing Challenge.
Babette Huitt Newton
STEM and Tour Services Supervisor