Grant lets students test CO2 Dragsters

Students at Clinton Middle School, Lake City Middle School and Norris Middle School will get the chance to put their engineering to the test thanks to a grant for a C02 Dragster 

“In the CO2 dragster project students use the engineering design process to design and create a CO2 cartridge powered dragster car that can travel 20 meters in the shortest amount of time possible,” said Madison Jones of Norris Middle.

Jones championed the grant.

“I have my students use balsa wood, but I think the other schools may use basswood or pine. Balsa is so much less dense than other types of wood, and that makes for an easier experience when the students are using the band saw to cut out their design,” Jones said on the design and makeup of the dragsters.

“While students are able to test their virtual car designs on the computer, with our previous track system students were unable to see the amount of time it takes for their car to go from the starting line to the finish line,” Jones said.

She stated that this is significant because without the time, students are unable to calculate the speed of their car. As part of this project, students will be required to use the formula for distance, rate, and time to calculate the speed of each class member’s CO2 car.

Students will then compare the speed of the virtual cars they designed on the computer to the physical cars they build in class, determine which car performed best, and draw conclusions explaining their results.

All three schools will share the track. The track is portable and can be set up anywhere, so it will be going back and forth between the schools.

Additionally, two students each year will compete in a statewide Technology Student Association competition, and this track will help them test their car prior to competitions. “There isn’t a limit to the number of times the track can be used, so we should be able to use it for many years in the future,” said Jones.