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Press Release 09-056

National Science Foundation Teams With NASCAR to Reveal "The Science of Speed"

Online videos show how science and engineering move from textbooks to racetracks

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Photo of the No. 24 car illustrating the science of turning at 180 mph.

"The Science of Speed" is a new, online series of videos that aims to engage students in grades 8-12 in science. The 12-part video series borrows illustrations from NASCAR to explain scientific principles such as friction, heat, drag and drafting.

Credit: NSF


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Photo of a car showing that NASCAR tires don't have air pressure.

NSF's 12-part video series borrows illustrations from NASCAR racing to explain scientific principles such as air pressure. Here, in an episode titled, "Tires & Pressure," viewers learn that NASCAR tires don't have "air pressure" because they're filled with nitrogen that helps race teams predict how hot the tire will get and how much the pressure will "build" during a race.

Credit: NSF


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Photo of Diandra Leslie-Pelecky who hosts the NSF-sponsored video series The Science of Speed.

University of Texas at Dallas physics professor Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, author of the book "The Physics of NASCAR," hosts "The Science of Speed," a new online video series that uses professional car racing to teach basic principles of science and engineering.

Credit: NSF


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Photo of a mechanic working on car parts.

The National Science Foundation-sponsored "The Science of Speed," teaches viewers how science and engineering makes cars powerful, agile, fast and safe, and how these same principles affect their own cars.

Credit: NSF


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