The Chemistry of NASCAR: How Chemistry Principles are Used in the Motorsports Industry

Stacey Anne Hartberger, Integrated Science, James Martin Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

This unit is designed to correlate with the 8th grade Science New Essential Standards for Chemistry. It puts a twist on the curriculum by incorporating elements of the NASCAR® motorsports industry into the various chemistry topics. It includes background information about the NASCAR® industry including: related vocabulary, a lab materials list, and combustion reaction information. It also contains a variety of sample activities. The Periodic Table of the Elements station lab has students determine the different chemical and physical characteristics of metals and alloys used in designing stock cars. The unit also contains numerous chemical bonding student activities, as well as, two culminating activity projects.  The first is an argumentative essay on the ecological impact of motorsports and the second is an experimental design project, where students will use the information they have gathered to create various products and showcase their understanding of technological design and material usage.