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STEM students build racing machines

Engineering project part of Project Lead the Way

PEDRO— After studying mechanical gears and the effects of different items, such as automobiles, Rock Hill Middle School STEM students recently built and raced their own race cars using VEX building materials.

The project emphasized the importance of correct gearing to build for speed and torque in order for the students to build the most efficient race car. All of the cars had controllers, motors and were battery-operated.

Each class worked in teams of three or four students, and the day each team raced their cars was the culmination of numerous days of building, tearing apart and rebuilding in order to get the best design.

Following the racing, the students then returned to the computers, using Autodesk Inventor Professional, to build mechanical arms. This project was done individually using the Project Lead the Way Gateway to Technology curriculum.

“I am very proud of what our STEM Project Lead the Way students are doing,” Jason Owens, Rock Hill Middle School principal, said. “They work day in and day out to find innovative ways to promote STEM excellence within our school and community.”

Project Lead the Way is taught in nearly all of Lawrence County’s public schools by trained teachers certified in the fields they teach. Several have engineering or engineering tech degrees, as well as years of work in their fields of study.

Project Lead the Way has been proven successful over the years with a number of students furthering their education in these fields.