For 20 years, Tom McGrath’s seventh grade technology classroom at Sagamore Middle School has transformed into the Sagamore Speedway to culminate a lesson on aerodynamics with a wooden racecar competition between classmates.
The elaborate raceway serves as the test center for the wooden cars students creatively design that incorporate engineering and design principals to reach a desired outcome. The detailed process requires students to brainstorm ideas, create a design, cut and customize their car before adding the finishing touches with elaborate paint schemes.
The aerodynamically designed and pneumatically powered racecar competition is the culminating event of the unit and draws great excitement from its competitors. Peers face off in head-to-head races on the two-lane track until a winner is determined from the bracketed format of the competition. Additionally, a separate competition is held to determine the most aesthetically pleasing car.