As part of my running series for the Union Tribune, this week my column focused on NASCAR as a “vehicle” (see what I did there 😉 for learning. Below includes all the lesson links and resources:
Using your own materials at home design a race track. Recycled or reused materials you may find helpful include: pool noodles, toilet paper or paper towel roles, or PVC pipe.
Create your own race car out of recycled materials. You can even use a balloon to power your car!
Engineers often go through 5-7 steps of a Design Process. Two of those steps include creating a prototype and testing its effectiveness. Test your design for a car and/or racetrack. Can you make changes to your prototype to increase the speed of the car?
Numbers/math are everywhere in a Nascar race. Speed, distance, angles of banking, and more! Watch the race this weekend and make a list of all the numbers you hear. Develop your own word problems to set up a scenario/equation for your friends to solve.
Can you explain the aerodynamics of racing cars? Create your own scientific diagram to show concepts such as Drag, drafting, and airflow. Explain Everything can be a great app to showcase your learning!
Research what types of changes can be made to improve the speed of a race car based on records broken at Bonneville Salt Flats. Make a list of your recommendations.
How important are tires to the performance and speed of a competitive race car? Research the role tires play in NASCAR racing and use science to explain your learning in a video for youtube kids.
Safety is a major concern and focus of NASCAR. Research the major safety hazards and use science to explain how to avoid them in a Public Service Announcement for aspiring race car drivers.
English Language Arts
Using information from this article, create the front and back cover of a “Who is” biography book on Hailie Deegan.
NASCAR, like all sports, has been impacted by COVID-19. Research the safety measures put in place to address COVID-19 . Compare and contrast your findings in a venn diagram, t chart, infographic or a “2 voice poem”.
Research Katherine Legge, Simona De Silvestro, Bia Figueiredo and Christina Nielsen. Use quotes from interviews with these women to create a piece of “black out poetry” that describes their experience as females in NASCAR.
Sponsorship is critical to racing. Research who you think should be the best sponsor for a racing team. Use data to support your claim in an argumentative paper presentation, discussion, or social media campaign.
Research changes made to Nascar over time. Is it time for new changes? Develop a proposal with recommendations for the leaders of NASCAR. Share your findings and thoughts in a podcast episode.
Research the women of Nascar. Create a Photo essay to highlight the role these women have played in increasing diversity in the sport.
In 2004 NASCAR created the “Drive for Diversity” initiative, a developmental program created to help get minority and female drivers behind the wheel and on to the track. Research this program, its effectiveness and develop a proposal/pitch for continuous improvement.
The very first “official” NASCAR race was run in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although a big presence is in the South, Nascar has grown across the country. Map out the locations of the major races to date.
Create an interactive timeline to show the history of women in Nascar. Your timeline will be part of a Smithsonian Museum traveling exhibit for schools to celebrate women in sports, so consider how you would create something that students your age would want to engage with to learn about these women in history.
Research Wendell Oliver Scott to learn about the role he played in setting the stage for racial diversity in NASCAR, as the first African American to race cars. Next research Bubba Wallace. How do their experiences reflect the narrative of race in our country over the past 50 years? Create a storyboard for a documentary on your findings.
In 2015 NASCAR made an effort to distance itself from the Confederate flag. The governing body released a statement leaning towards “an all-inclusive atmosphere” at races, asking fans to “refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events.”What does the confederate flag represent, literally and figuratively? How do you think people feel about this? Write a Spoken Word on this topic. Consider performing or recording your final piece to share over social media, leveraging appropriate hashtags to increase your reach.