Against the Wind

Against the Wind
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Summary: This activity has students testing different geometries to see the effect of wind resistance based on the shape.

Key Concepts: Wind resistance and Aerodynamic properties

Student Involvement: The students will roll different geometrically shaped cars down a ramp and see the speed differences between the cars moving from the top to the bottom of the ramp.  A fan will be used to increase the force exerted by the wind.

Engineering Roles: Vehicle Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

Real World Connections: Objects fall at the same speed without wind resistance or given the same geometry, but given less aerodynamic shapes makes it so the amount of air resistance varies and objects will fall at different speeds.

Materials: Several different cars made from solar car bases and a fan.

Setup: Place the cars on a downward sloping fan and turn on the fan to evaluate wind resistance.

Suggestions: Test the cars to make sure the wheels have not been damaged from previous use.

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