National Science Teaching Association: How Does the Air in Tires Support a 3,300-Pound Race Car?

Race car design features help the cars move easily through air, as well as use air to propel the car forward.

In this lesson, students explore how the air inside the tires can support the weight of the race car—all 3,300 pounds! After conducting an investigation, students use their observations to explain this phenomenon.



Investigation Materials (One per group)

  • 1–2 plastic syringes
  • 1–2 syringe caps (optional)
  • Whiteboard or larger sheet of paper for student models and explanations

Science Topics
Physics, Pressure, Sports
K-6, Educator
3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade
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