More than 300 Lakeville Area fifth graders are building race cars and learning about the automotive industry through an Elementary Engineered for Speed STEM project. Christina Huddleston, Eastview, and Lakeview Elementary Schools are participating. The project was made possible through a $1,000 grant from Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and partnerships with Lakeville South High School and local business, QA1.
The students were able to choose from three small wooden car designs: a speedy muscle car, a compact car, and a pickup truck. Students in the Lakeville South STEM Academy laser cut all the parts for the vehicles. The fifth graders then assembled the cars in their classrooms.
Some fifth graders used a 3D design software called Tinkercad to design extra parts for the race cars, such as spoilers. Employees from QA1, which is an industry leader specializing in parts for the racing market, helped the students design parts for their cars. Lakeville South STEM Academy students 3D-printed the parts the fifth graders designed.
After some testing and modifying, the students will now send the cars down the race track. They will compete to see whose car can go the fastest and furthest down the track. Eastview Elementary School will hold its Race Day on May 30 at 2 p.m. Lakeview Elementary School’s Race Day will be June 3 at 9:15 a.m. Finally, Christina Huddleston Elementary School’s Race Day will be held June 4 at 9 a.m.
The students will also have the opportunity to show off their creations to everyone in Lakeville during the Pan-O-Prog Car Show in Downtown Lakeville on July 13. They will be on display at the QA1 booth from 1-4 p.m.
From start to finish, Elementary Engineered for Speed is student focused, community connected. It’s designed to give students exposure to the automotive industry and engineering careers at a young age and increase their learning with the help of local industry experts. Lessons students can take away from the project include deductive reasoning, engineering design, aerodynamics, critical & creative thinking, and collaborated communication.
In the future, Lakeville Area Schools hopes to expand this project to all eight elementary schools.