Dragster competitions: Making it to the starting gate

Posted by Preston Frazier on December 14, 2018

“The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give.” – Howard Cosell

Fun. Exhilaration. Adrenaline. Victory. Defeat. These are a few words that describe competition. Whether you’re aware of it or not, competition is happening around you every day, and it’s human nature to want to compete in some form or fashion – not only in sports, music, and work, but in everyday life.

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Competitions, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, STEM, TSA, Dragsters, Engineering, 21st Century Skills, Hands-on Learning

CO2 dragster competition puts employability skills at the finish line

Posted by Jessica Born on October 05, 2018

Think back to middle and high school. Were you a part of a club or two? Or maybe you were involved in basically everything that was offered? Have you ever reflected back to the time you spent in those organizations and the impact that experience had on your education and future? Maybe it was insignificant or incidental. But, maybe, the experience was pivotal to the person you became or to a career interest decision you made.

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Topics: Middle School, High School, BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, Competitions, Collaborations, STEM, TSA, Dragsters, Future Ready, 21st Century Skills, Maker Ed, Hands-on Learning

Measured for success

Posted by Preston Frazier on July 14, 2018

It seems like every day is a holiday these days, but we’re not complaining. Let’s take a look at a day that really measures up.

On July 14, 1868, a gentleman by the name of Albert J. Fellows of Connecticut revolutionized an item we keep in our toolbox with his patent for a spring-click tape measure (Wired). 

Rulers have been around since the days of the Romans, so Fellows isnt the inventor of the tape measure. And hes not even the originator of the steel spring measure; he improved Englishman James Chesterman’s steel band measuring chain, which was created in 1829 specifically for surveyors. The issues with Chestermans creation were its size and bulk, which also made it expensive. Fellows added a clip that kept the tape from retracting as well as a few other construction improvements, and the arrangement qualified him for his patent. So today’s tradesmen and craftsmen can thank Fellows for the modern tape measure.

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Middle School, Competitions, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, STEM, Dragsters, Activities, Hands-on Learning

Top 10 spring and summer activities

Posted by Patty Cooke on April 05, 2018

As we dive deeper into spring – and look forward to summer – we prepare for the upcoming changes.

The warmer months ahead can mean many things, both good and, well, not as good. Better weather usually means more outdoor activities such as summer camps, but the extended time out of school can mean bored kids and a learning slide teachers fight against the rest of the year.

But spring fever doesn’t have to equal a lack of learning, and summertime doesn’t have to mean boredom. If you want to keep the learning going and keep students engaged, there are several things you can do.

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Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, ROBOTICS, Camps, Makerspaces, STEM, Dragsters, Coding, STEM Units

Persistence wins – with dragsters and in life

Posted by Admin on January 31, 2018

I was an industrial arts teacher in rural Missouri for many years. By nature, my classroom was hands on. But one of the most memorable and impactful programs we executed in class was to build and race CO2 dragsters. I discovered CO2 dragsters at the Four States Conference for Industrial Arts Teachers held at Pittsburg State University in the fall of 1976. Wow, that was a long time ago!

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Topics: Middle School, Competitions, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, STEM, Dragsters