Have you ever had a class of middle school students that tested your resolve to come to work each day. Engaging difficult classes is at the core of a successful middle school teaching career. Activities that students can learn from, stay busy and be motivated can be difficult to find. The metric race car lab was an activity that I created for such a class. They loved it, it kept their attention and we learned a little along the way. The lab is broken into three basic parts
Student choose a race car, Formula One or NASCAR. This is a great internet research activity. Using that car, they need to figure out the dimensions of the car in the metric system, from length, width, height and mass. This is a great opportunity to get them to apply their measurement skills on a project. At the end of the activity, students draw their own vehicle with measurements and dimensions. As a culminating challenge, I provide them with three samples of simulated fuel. Students must calculate the densities of each fuel to determine which type is the best. Hint: Less dense means less car mass, which means greater speed. Its fun to have kids make posters or mark out the lengths of the car on the classroom wall.
If you are looking to try out this lab with out the extra work of creating the materials. Visit my store to purchase the lesson.
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