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Project Lead the Way’s Pathway to Engineering Teacher Mr. Rolando Rodriguez led 13 students on a field trip to Baltimore’s Grand Prix to learn about engineering in racing.

IND Students Preview the “Future of Fast” at Baltimore's Grand Prix

The Institute of Notre Dame’s Pathway to Engineering Teacher Mr. Rolando Rodriguez reports on 13 STEM students' trip to Baltimore's Grand Prix to learn about the "Future of Fast" from Project Lead the Way® exhibits.
Report written by IND’s Pathway to Engineering Teacher Mr. Rolando Rodriguez.

“Twelve engineering students and one physics student participated in Thursday's engineering field trip. We attended the 'Future of Fast' sponsored by Project Lead the Way® (PLTW—IND’s provider of Pathway to Engineering and Biomedical Sciences Programs) at Baltimore's Grand Prix.

“PLTW had five stations that dealt with certain aspects of engineering in racing. One example is the students saw how aerodynamic drag is used to keep the Indy car on the ground since it is so fast and light when it races. They saw this using a miniature wind tunnel and a scaled model of a race car spoiler.

“The station the students enjoyed the most designed and built a safety barrier to help cars ‘safely crash,’ minimizing injury to drivers. They were given a box of materials to design a barrier that would safely stop, or greatly reduce, the speed of a model car traveling at a high rate of speed before it hit a metal wall.

“The metal wall represented the spectators. The students were divided into four groups. The students’ designs resulted in the development of safety barriers that reduced the speed of the model car from triple digits to a single digit without compromising the design constraints and meeting the established deadline."
“The event instructors were very impressed with the students’ designs and team work ethic. They were so surprised by the efficiency of their designs that they had to recalibrate the sensors on the equipment because they were not expecting such good and finely tuned results.

“Before we departed, the CEO of PLTW expressed his gratitude for the students' attendance and their professional behavior. He was especially impressed that they were willing to attend the event during their day off from school. PLTW gave complimentary race tickets to all of the students for their participation in the ‘Future of Fast.’

“In addition, the students got to look at some of the racing Porsches that were getting ready for their time trials and competition.

“This is a preview of things to come for our engineering students as our intent is to expose them to working engineers, college engineering students, and renowned engineering schools along with various competitions.”
For more coverage of IND students experiencing the “Future of Fast,” click on the following link:
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