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Nerdy Derby Days

Third graders are happily meeting the challenge to design and build their own miniature race cars in a new interdisciplinary STEAM unit, The Nerdy Derby

Last week, the boys cycled through various stations to determine the variables that will affect the design and performance of their cars.  In one station they selected and tested crafty materials for their cars, in another they tested to see how mass and load affect speed and momentum on an inclined plane.


In the third, they graphed and analyzed the data they collected, discussing and learning how important it is to test and retest a design concept. As one boy put it, "The more data you have, the better."

This week the boys will be given Derby Dollars, which they will use to purchase the components of their race cars. They will see how important proper budgeting is, and how there are constraints involved in the design and engineering process, often due to cost.

The big race is Friday, when the cars will face off on a race track. Awards will go to cars based on their performance as well as to boys for creativity, sportsmanship, and overall design.

What an active, complex and incredibly fun learning experience for our boy engineers!

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