Tech class moves to the fast track

FL middle school connects tech students with 'fastest cars in the world' for the kind of education you don't get in every class.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

A middle school in Florida is connecting technology to car racing to journalism, in a bit of interdisciplinary, public-private cooperation, reports the (Bradenton, FL) Herald.

For the technology class at Haile Middle School, each student is researching and writing an article on topics from drafting to tire technology. Each class, working with students in Haile's journalism curriculum, will then piece the articles together to create a racing magazine.

With the help of Todd Hutto, owner of East Bay Raceway Park, the students' reporting experience is as hands-on as it gets. Hutto brought three sprint cars to Haile to turn the parking lot into its own version of a raceway.

Even if the kids didn't get to do 100mph laps around the school or even start them up, they still got a feel for what its like to sit in one of the monsters. With a 730-horsepower engine, the sprint cars are the most powerful racing machines around, so the students learned more about safety precautions than how to bank turns.

Student Brian Cobb has been studying the aerodynamics of the car's wing, which rests above the driver and is designed for stabilization.

"Really, I thought that was just for show," Cobb said of the aluminum wing. "In regular classes you don't normally see things like this."

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