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Will NASCAR find its next team at Jarvis?

Photo of students transferring designs to plywoodOkay, so the Jarvis Sixth Grade STREAM students might not be quite ready for Daytona or Talladega, but their most recent project might open new career opportunities in auto racing, design, or promotion.

It all begins with a group project—building soapbox derby cars.

The first step is to find financial backing. Students wrote business letters asking local businesses to partner with students as car sponsors. Each business donated money to pay for the materials. In return, the business will receive the car after the derby. The team sent questions to its company and conducted additional research into the history and purpose of each business. The car’s design reflect the name, logo, and company product or purpose. Each team looked for ways to incorporate that information into their car’s design, color scheme, or decoration. Students follow up with thank you letters and invitations to the business members to attend the derby.

The next step is to build the cars.

Students develop concept drawings to scale drawing designs then use them outline their cars. Teachers will cut the raw materials, then help students assemble the cars. The finished vehicles will be on display at the school’s derby during the week of June 13. The exact date will depend on the weather.

“This project requires our students to used a full range of skills from math and science to writing and communication,” said sixth grade teacher Colleen Bunce.

“These are skills students will apply throughout their lives regardless of the career they choose. The derby is a great way for learning to be fun, interactive, and valuable.”