During the week of March 9-13, Class VI students participated in the third annual Nerdy Derby. Students spent two days doing activities and experiments to determine the forces and variables that affect the speed of a vehicle on a track. Then they spent the rest of the week designing their own cars to race in the Nerdy Derby competitions on a 9 foot tall, 45 foot long undulating track.
There were a few enhancements to the week-long interdisciplinary project this year. The students were joined by Julia Landauer, an engineer and race car driver, who provided expertise and support for the students throughout the week. Students also received an allowance and rewards of Derby Dollars that they could spend on materials to build their vehicles. In order to test their vehicles on the track, students had to complete trial slips that detailed changes and improvements that they made to their vehicles. In addition, there was a creative writing competition where students wrote a scene in which characters grappled with some of the science concepts that they were exploring.
On Friday, the rest of the Upper Middle School and Class V students joined us for the Nerdy Derby competitions for slowest car, Queen of the Hill, and fastest car. After the races, Class VI and Class VII students shared tips and tricks to help Class V students start to think about next year's competition. It was a great display of learning and excitement. In the end, the winning teams were:
Fastest Car - Olivia W. and Lindsey S.
Slowest Car - Anya R. and Bella M.
Queen of the Hill - Gracie C. and Demetria D., Kate U. and Lola S. (Tie)
Best in Show - Rylan K. Grace A., Waverly J., and Paula D.
The winners of the creative writing competition were Lila F. and Elizabeth G.