Boise teens have a need for speed

 

No need for an expensive race car to participate in Boise Speed Day — just a piece of wood and wheels.

On Friday, nearly 300 Boise ninth graders went head-to-head racing wooden CO2 dragsters, competing in Boise Speed Day at Riverglen Junior High School gym.

“This is part of the curriculum and students are learning how to design and redesign,” said Larry Richter, a technology and engineering teacher at Riverglen Junior High School. “This is a big culminating experience.”

The students built the cars over the last six months — designing, testing and modifying.

“You want to have the lightest car because that is a major deciding factor when it comes to speed,” said Andrew Drake, a Riverglen ninth grader. “It takes a lot of time to design the car.”

At the launcher, teachers pressed down to make a puncture in the C02 cartridge, which sends the cars off to speeds up to 55 miles an hour. The cars pass a finish line over a laser, deciding the winner.

“The CO2 is the engine of the car — it’s running on air power,” Drake said.

The cars raced in five lanes, two in each lane. The fastest cars moved onto the finals. Trophies were awarded for first, second and third place and overall school with the most points. Awards were also presented for “best in show” voted by students and teachers.

“It’s about winning and having the bragging right,” said Shaina Nacioluk, a ninth grader at South Junior High School.