Dragster Design

Dragster Packet provides for the design of the car. The packet is a demonstration of a systematic process of design. Students brainstorm for ideas and then develop an idea into a final design for their dragster. Click here for the Dragster Packet.


Thumbnails - Simple small drawings created while brainstorming ideas.

Rough Draft - Intermediate step in visualizing an idea.

Working Drawing - Final stage of illustrating and idea or solution, usually drawn to scale.

Thumbnails are a way of brainstorming ideas for a dragster, this is a basic first step in the process of designing the car. All the boxes need to be filled in and colored.

MASS - Mass is the primary design factor that impacts how fast the dragster will travel. In this project, how fast your dragster is compared to other students is not important. While many students will pride themselves on making a very fast car and try to be the fastest in the class, this isn't the main goal. The goal is to create a design, produce a prototype of that design and calculate how fast your dragster will go before you build it out of wood and race. It is important that your prototype and actual dragster be as similar as possible to so your speed calculations will match.

Rough Draft is the second step in the design process where students draw more detailed versions of their ideas. Students are encouraged to be as creative as they can in this step. Here students should also formulate what the finish will look like on their car. Students also layout the number and sponsor on their dragster. This page, thumbnails and rough drafts combined is worth 20 pts.

DRAG - Drag is resistance to fluid motion. The dragster will experience drag as it races down the track. Like above, the goal is to have similar drag on the prototype as the actual dragster. While the study of aerodynamics is important, the drag doesn't have as large an effect on overall speed of the dragster as mass does. Mass being equal between two dragster, the one with the less drag will win.

Prototype Calculations - Students will make a prototype dragster out of polystyrene and take measurements of volume and drag in order to calculate the anticipated performance of their actual dragster. Please see the Prototype section for more information about this activity.

Working Drawing is a full size drawing of the dragster. This is the final step in designing the dragster on paper. From here the students will make prototype dragster. After using the prototype to predict how their design will perform, the students will build the dragster one last time out of basswood. The working drawing is worth 50 pts.

This is a tutorial on how to draw your full size working drawing for your dragster. This drawing is important because it is your demonstration of you final vision for your dragster. You must finish your working drawing before you can begin work on your prototype.

Automobile Comparison Chart - This is a cart that get filled out during two movies and a class discussion about automobiles and automotive technology.



Tesla Motors

Nisson Leaf

How the MPG-Busting X Prize Finalists Won

Bisected F1 Racecar