Scholastic and NASCAR have teamed up to provide a STEM education program for elementary and middle school students, with the target ages of 8-12. Acceleration Nation teaches students about the math and science behind NASCAR’s “Three D’s of Speed: Drag, Downforce, and Drafting” and also gives them a behind-the-scenes look at some of the popular drivers in NASCAR and how pivotal science and math are to the sport.
Each of the three “D’s” include a teacher’s lesson plan, assessments and standards, resource sheets, activity sheets for students, and video resources. These can be found on the Scholastic website: http://www.scholastic.com/nascarspeed/
On the Acceleration Nation website (www.accelerationnation.com), there are hands-on activities and games in four categories: Think, Move, Build, and Team Up. These include flash cars, where kids have 2 minutes to try to solve as many math problems as they can; pit crew playoffs, where teams go head to head trying to complete challenges; Race Flex, where kids get to “drive” through a road course using the arrow keys on their keyboards; and Race Paper, where kids get to color and fold their own paper NASCAR vehicle (Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series).
There are also videos on how to conduct some science experiments to show kids how to “recreate the science of NASCAR.” These experiments include a race can, which uses static electricity to move an aluminum can; a balloon rocket; a draft glider, which shows the aerodynamic forces used during a NASCAR race; and a coffee cup racer, where kids can build a windup racer while using physics.
Kids can sign up for free (with permission from their parents/guardians) and earn rewards and badges for completing different levels and activities.