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Taking FSAE to a highschool, ideas?

  1. Aug 10, 2005 #1
    Ok guys,

    Im sure most of you are aware of the Formula SAE. Im helping out with this yrs team and to raise funds, were taking the car to a local highschool for some interactive learning. Itll be for the senior students taking physics.

    Just wondering if anyone has any ideas about what we could show them? Something that they could understand with high school and perhaps give them an insight into engineering.

    Thanks guys.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2005 #2
    show them under the hood, also talk about the aerodynamics of the car, the down force etc. Those tend to be shockers amongst students, at least they were for me.


  4. Aug 19, 2005 #3
    Not a whole lot of underhood and aero in an FSAE car(some teams go full body but most opt for a shapely nose cone with only minimal aero consideration). Aerodynacic design of FSAE cars is wasted effort because the cars traverse an autocross course with one maybe two straight aways. Speeds average about 30 so aero gains are tough without adding significant weight.... Lighter cars are better.

    Tires... Talk about tires. Shear---tires bond with the pavementas they roll and then get tore off the pavement i.e. sheared. You can talk about that and how tire composition/width/radius effects tire performance.

    Beam forces and deflection. Always good, not too tough.

    gear trains and sprocket systems. Again, not to tough at face value but interesting especially if you bring the lower half of an engine with you.

    Moments of inertia. Small light car performance is subject to moment of inertia changes. Placing a lead acid battery over or behind the diff versus under the CG can effect handeling performance---really good drivers can sense this BTW. An 8 lb load shifted to a corner will no move the CG significantly but will produce a notible change in the cars moments.

    Shock---spring forces and dampers.

    IC engines---I can't think of a whole lot that would pertain to a HS physics class. Maybe you could discuss heat transfer or power/torque relations and show curves. Explain why Al is used(are Fe heads and blocks better if so why or why not) as block and head material. Explain compression ratio. Thermodynamics bases a lot of IC engine theory (at least for a first approx) on compression ratio.

    Electronics---There are no carbed FSAE cars running, so all use some form of ECU. ECU's rely on semiconductors and capacitors and resistors and inductors...

    Electrical system---alternator is a portable generator. You could discuss the conversion of relative motion and lines of magnetic flux into electrical energy to charge the battery and power the injectors, ecu, fuel pump(you could talk about electric motors as well), etc.

    There, have fun.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2005
  5. Aug 19, 2005 #4
    Thanks guys, Ill try and forward those ideas to the team.
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