Sycamore students learn valuable STEM skills by building, racing Indy Car
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "I'm excited to go outside and try it full speed, especially on the Indianapolis track," said Dylan Whittemore, a sophomore at Sycamore High School.
Nothing gets the math and science skills racing like building an electric racecar at Sycamore High School.
Brad Williams, engineering instructor at Sycamore High School, explained "My students, for the past few months, have been building this racecar and completing it. We will actually race this May 1st in Indianapolis on their Grand Prix track and actually compete against other teams...about 30 teams from around the country."
Students are having to learn and understand techniques they may have never seen before.
"I learned basically how to use tools, how to wire everything, how motors work, and basically everything you need to build a car," said Katie Renoit, a sophomore at Sycamore High School.
"I really enjoy building, and I also really enjoy racing. When I heard the engineering club was going to start building a race car, I came the first week that I knew about it to the club." said Whittemore.
Making a race car involves thinking about everything from weight and balance to wind and rain.
"We have to think about the drag it has and how far it can go based on our design of the outside." said Reniot.
Whittemore explained, "We're going to put a vinyl rap around the whole car to make it waterproof so that if it is wet or raining, the frame doesn't get damaged."
Learning how to build an Indy Car is more than just considering things like weather or air resistance. Students are also learning the fundamental of science and engineering, including critical thinking and problem solving skills.
"They are working on it day and night. They are thinking about it all of the time. They have to communicate with one another. Collaboration skills, those skills and real-world skills they will need when they actually go into the workforce," said Williams.
Regardless of how long the batteries last and how fast the car goes next month, Sycamore students found a way to learn about math and science and have fun doing it.
"Usually I get bored pretty quickly. With this, there's something new or different I have to do every single day," said Reniot.