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6 Simple Machines - WHAT CAN STUDENTS LEARN FROM RACING?

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2013

“After studying out of a book all day,” Skylar says, “sometimes I feel a little lost in how what I just learned applies to the real world. Hopefully, the students find this kart new and exciting and that what they learn in school can be applied in real life. It would be awesome if they engineered my race car one day!”. Thursday, September 19th, Augusta, Georgia residents Skylar Robinson, 17, and his father, Chip, will be heading to Charleston, South Carolina area where they will deliver their 6 Simple Machines© presentation at three venues which are the West Ashley Public Library, Miriam Brown Community Center, both of which are hosted by the Charleston Change 4H Club and St. Andrews School of Math and Science.

Skylar Robinson is a 17 year-old senior honor student who loves racing. He is also a National Champion karter who has moved up to racing cars this past year and has already won 10 races in the US and England so far this season. He has also been selected as one of six finalists for Team USA Scholarship. Skylar and his father, Chip Robinson, a retired race car driver who has won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, have developed a way to share their enthusiasm for motorsports and karting. They have developed an educational program called 6 Simple Machines©. This is a PowerPoint presentation which they take into the classroom along with a kart held vertically on a custom stand.

The Robinsons talk about racing, the role engineering plays in mechanical design, and how they use the six simple machines to win races. They demonstrate where the six simple machines (the basis of all mechanical engineering) are located on the kart and how they are combined to give their racing effort a strong competitive advantage.

The kids get to connect the science they are learning to something that is fun and exciting on a scale they can relate to. They also see that many things they do everyday are made possible using a lever, wheel, inclined plane, wedge, screw or pulley.

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