SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. – CTech and local STEM curriculum provider STEM101 have teamed up to develop the next-generation C02 Car Challenge.
The answer; small 3D printed racecars propelled via basic compressed air.
Called the Air Drag Challenge, this new middle/high school level project challenges students to design, 3D print, and assemble their own small racecars. Students then line up their creations on a string-guided raceway, and are launched down the track via a special compressed air-powered Launch Box.
The Launch Box itself is manufactured by CTech, using the same processes and materials used on our industry-leading storage solutions. Everything educators need to implement this project; from hardware, to curriculum and support, is distributed by STEM101.
Founded by NHRA drag racer Jim Greenheck, CTech has grown to serve many industries beyond motorsports. However, racing remains a critical part of CTech’s company culture.
Besides serving shop/laboratory storage solutions to many customers in the education market, CTech is involved in a wide range of hands-on outreach and education activities thanks to the James D. Greenheck Foundation. In recent years CTech has become increasingly involved in supporting competitive STEM-based teams in various domains such as robotics, SAE, and others.
Some may remember carving their own C02-powered racecars out of balsa wood in middle or high school shop class. Then, after a coat of paint, C02 cartridges were inserted into the back, and cars were raced down the hallway. For many, this is a red-letter school project. A rare project that students cannot wait to take part in.
Air Drag Challenge takes all of the excitement from older C02 vehicle challenges, and injects modern manufacturing elements as well as STEM-oriented skills. This makes the Air Drag Challenge more relevant in today’s manufacturing climate, and better prepares students for pursuit of STEM-related fields.
3D printing has recently exploded into a valuable tool for makers and doers in the STEM realm. More importantly, 3D printing has carved out a niche in the education market as an affordable tool to teach basic automation, manufacturing, and other hands-on practices.
For the Air Drag Challenge, students carry out their vehicle design work on the computer using optional templates provided by STEM101. Varying levels of complexity and independence make designing and printing the vehicles highly adaptable to various skill levels and situations.
Full details on the Air Drag Challenge are available at this link.