National Science Teaching Association: Why Is Metal Used to Build Race Cars?

Students use the shape (structure) of a roll cage to try to determine the roll cage’s function in a NASCAR race car.

Using model roll cages they construct from pipe cleaners, students investigate whether a roll cage made from metal can keep the same shape while rolling along a track. Is metal the right material for the job?


Roll Cage Investigation Materials

  • Each Roll Cage Model

– 6 pipe cleaners

– Cotton ball

  • Each Testing Ramp

– Cardboard

– Books or Box

– Marker

Materials for Posters or Writing on the Board

  • Poster Paper and Markers OR
  • Whiteboard and Dry Erase Markers

Science Topics
Physics, Sports
Engineering Topics
Machines, Materials, Structures
K-6, Educator
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade

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