Eliza Russell of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte recently visited the STEM (science, engineering, mathematics and technology) classes at Polk County Middle School to discuss STEM and the engineering design process.

Russell shared a brief history of NASCAR with the sixth and eighth grade classes and then detailed how NASCAR engineers have helped make the sport faster and safer leading to changes in our own vehicles.

Her visit reinforced topics discussed in class such as the engineering design cycle, aerodynamics, drag and lift. At the conclusion of her lesson, Russell provided students with materials to build either a rubber-band powered car or a battery-powered car – students had to figure out how to construct the car so it would move.