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Elementary Middle School    |    Daily Do

How Does the Air in Tires Support a 3,300-Pound Race Car?

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How Does the Air in Tires Support a 3,300-Pound Race Car?

Is Lesson Plan Physical Science Elementary Middle School Grade 5

Sensemaking Checklist

Lesson Overview

Race car design features help the cars move easily through air, as well as use air to propel the car forward. In this lesson, students explore how the air inside the tires can support the weight of the race car—all 3,300 pounds! After conducting an investigation, students use their observations to explain this phenomenon.

Note: There is a typo in the PDF. The DCI element listed under PS1.A is incorrect. Below is the correct DCI element

Matter of any type can be subdivided into particles that are too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means. A model showing that gases are made from matter particles that are too small to see and are moving freely around in space can explain many observations, including the inflation and shape of a balloon and the effects of air on larger particles or objects.



Investigation Materials (One per group)

  • 1–2 plastic syringes
  • 1–2 syringe caps (optional)
  • Whiteboard or larger sheet of paper for student models and explanations
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