Design for Speed is a six-week unit that challenges students to apply STEM knowledge and design skills. Students engage in competitive engineering with the goal of creating the fastest and most eye-pleasing balsa wood or basswood dragster. They first develop a car concept and then build it. After a battery of tests and a speed test of their prototypes, they head back to the drawing board. Students analyze their cars for drag, mass, lift, and conformity to specifications, all with the aim of making the fastest car in the room for the culminating Day at the Races event. An aesthetics competition provides an added dimension and entices students who have an artistic flair.
Extensive web support is included such as online data tracking and exclusive access to instructional videos for each phase of the activity. Teacher familiarity with tool use and woodworking methods is required. The dragster launcher is sold separately.