Peet industrial tech students designing for upcoming race

Every year, eighth graders who take industrial tech get to build their own CO2 cars. Right now, the students are starting off by designing their cars, where they draw out what they want their car to look like, and then make a model of their car out of foam. 

At Peet Junior High, industrial tech teacher David Grund’s goals for this unit are for the students to successfully race their car at the end of the unit. “I want the kids to be able to walk away from this class with the ability to draw out their ideas,” he said.

“Some of the struggles the kids have are with the whole designing process, like figuring out how to draw their ideas to the right measurements on paper,” Grund said. 

He said the best way to avoid any big complications with the designing process is to have step by step instructions. “Having the kids see what the process looks like and then be able to talk about it after really helps as well.”

Drawing the car has been the hardest step so far for students like Hailey Barthelmy. “I’m making my car look like a Twix bar, and just drawing it out to fit the right modifications has been pretty difficult.”

Once the students finish drawing out their design, they make a foam model of the car. Kennedy Yokem is working on her model, and she uses a wire cutter to make it. “The wire cutter melts the foam, and all we really have to do is use the cutter and shape it to our design. This part of designing the car isn’t really that hard. It’s pretty cool actually,” she said.

According to Grund, the CO2 car project is very popular amongst the 8th graders. ‘’I like this project because it has the kids learn more about the history of transportation when we talk about how CO2 cars became a thing, and it helps them learn more about drawing and designing their ideas, and the kids enjoy making the cars.” 

Grund said this unit really helps kids get creative with their imaginations, and so far, the students at Peet Junior High have been letting their minds race freely down previously unexplored roads in their new CO2 cars.

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