NASCAR STEM Kits Utilized at Girl Scouts Junior Jamboree
New Hampshire Motor Speedway and NASCAR donated five NASCAR-themed STEM kits to the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains to use in workshops during Saturday's Junior Jamboree at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, N.H. The kits were used to teach the Girl Scout Juniors about potential and kinetic energy, drag, downforce and friction and how they all play a part in NASCAR to help them earn a Mechanical Engineering - Balloon Car badge.
"NASCAR has partnered with Scholastic since 2015," said Erica Wilkerson, senior account executive of growth segments marketing for NASCAR. "Through the partnership, we've developed methods to get students in grades 5-7 interested in the science behind racing via lesson plans focused on kinetic energy, potential energy, drag, downforce and so much more. NASCAR believes these hands-on materials will help make learning these important subjects more fun and engaging for students while at the same time creating new fans of the sport. To date, NASCAR-themed STEM kits have been distributed to more than 22,000 classrooms nationwide."
The Balloon Car workshop utilized the Energy and Speed Under the Hood lesson plan from the NASCAR STEM kit, which allowed the Girl Scouts to build their own race car model and learn how speed works on the racetrack.
Once they built their race cars, the Girl Scouts added a power mechanism, consisting of a balloon and straw, to their race cars. They blew up the balloon, pinched the straw and let it go once the car was on the ground, sending it racing across the floor, which demonstrated how gasoline powers a real race car. They learned that the potential energy of the air they blew into the balloon converted to kinetic energy once the air was released, propelling the race car forward.
"The STEM kits from NASCAR Acceleration Nation were easy to use and the perfect tool to help teach these young ladies about energy in an interactive and fun way," said Shannon Stephens, communications manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway who assisted in the Balloon Car workshop. "We enjoy having the opportunity to partner with local organizations like the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains and share our passion for racing. I'm sure we'll see more than a few of these young ladies on a NASCAR pit crew in the near future."
Sarah Hoffschwelle, program delivery specialist for the council serving Girl Scouts in New Hampshire and Vermont, lent her scientific expertise to the day as well, using the NASCAR STEM kit to teach a workshop about the engineering of race cars and how drag, downforce and friction affect a car's performance.
In addition to the Balloon Car badge, 80 Girl Scout Juniors, who are all in fourth and fifth grade, had the opportunity to earn other badges such as Eco Camper, Crane, Playing the Past, Gardener, Inside Government and Space Science or a fill Girl Scout Journey called Think Like An Engineer during the three-session Jamboree. The Jamboree is expected to become an annual event to help the Girl Scouts of the USA accomplish their goal of adding 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline.
"The day was a whirlwind of activity," said Ceara Hunt, director of girl experience at Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. "Girls explored a variety of topics including engineering, robotics, civics engagement, camping skills, space science, sleuthing and more. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains are so thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with New Hampshire Motor Speedway, FIRST, New Hampshire Astronomical Society and Lucy Weber from the New Hampshire House of Representatives."
New Hampshire Motor Speedway's participation in Saturday's Junior Jamboree served as an extension of the existing relationship with the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. In July, NHMS hosted a group of Girl Scouts at the Granite State Legends Cars dealership during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend that featured an exclusive Q&A session with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver and Wakefield, N.H. native Melissa Fifield.
For ticket information for all events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the November 28, 2019-January 5, 2020 Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane & Oil, the June 13-21, 2020 Motorcycle Week at NHMS and the July 17-19, 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.
About NASCAR Acceleration Nation
NASCAR Acceleration Nation is an industry asset developed to attract the next generation of NASCAR fans where kids can learn about NASCAR through fun activities and STEM-inspired curriculum.
On AccelerationNation.com, kids can watch weekly race updates, learn about drivers and tracks and play educational games. Launched in 2016, the NASCAR Acceleration Nation mobile app is a fun and easy way for kids to learn about drivers, play games and stay up to date on the latest news. The app is available as a free download in the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play Store.
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Their Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead in their own lives and in the world. Through their exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities from kayaking, archery and camping to coding, robotics, financial literacy training and beyond. Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Visit www.GirlScoutsGWM.org.