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Langemeier & Zetocka Take 1st/2nd Place in 2nd Quarter Metric 500 Race

Cars Created in 8th Grade Industrial Tech Class

Congratulations to Josh Langemeier and Brandon Zetocka on their 1st and 2nd place finishes in the 2nd quarter Metric 500! 

The two cars, created in the 8th grade industrial tech class, recorded the two fastest times so far this year!

Langemeier's car averaged 37.62 miles per hour and Zetocka's averaged 37.47 miles per hour. Langemeier's car (#235) is on the left, and Zetocka's (#232) is on the right.

Here are the total class results from 2nd quarter:

Josh Langemeier    50.0    1st    1.187
Brandon Zetocka    52.0    2nd    1.192
Evann Vrana    55.0    1.269
Michaela Miller    59.0    1.317
Sandy Lambrecht    59.0    1.329
Chris Meyers    62.0    1.343
Jayle Hinrichs    63.0    1.356
Jocelyn Slosser    66.0    1.394
Janae Urban    60.0    1.415
Rebecca Welsh    64.0    1.437
Clair Herrera    68.0    1.438
Jesse Dorer    61.0    1.460
Matt Spicka    65.0    1.470
Fenina Rummel    72.0    1.536
Rylee Armstrong    77.0    1.611
Ronnie Brust    86.0    1.699

Information About the Project:

In the Metric 500 activity, students design, construct and race a CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) powered car that runs along a thin string on the floor. The car is raced against another car and the time is shown down to .001 second. The car is built in three phases: Design, Build, and Race.


We start by looking at examples of other cars from the past. We have pictures of every CO2 car made here at Wahoo over the last four years. Students can also look on the Internet at home to get design ideas for their cars. Once we have a few ideas, we do a worksheet of 10 rough sketches of the designs we like. Once we have 10 ideas on paper, we reduce that list down to their two favorite designs. From there the students create a full size working drawing of their car. We use the metric system, so they must adhere to certain specifications for how long, how wide, how heavy, etc. the car must be. We create a working drawing and write down all of our specifications before beginning construction of the car. We always plan our work, then work our plan.


We learn about shop safety prior to beginning construction of our car. The students use the band saw, the drill press and the belt/disc sander, so we have some safety demonstrations about each machine. The students use their working drawing as a stencil and cut it out to trace the body onto the car blank we give them. The cars are made of balsa wood, which is very light and very easy to cut and sand, thus making this project safe as well as fun for the students. Once holes for the axles are drilled, the contour of the body is cut out and the sanding begins. Lots of hand sanding is required to make the body smooth and ready for paint. After the car is sanded smooth, we apply a primer to seal the wood. Once the wood is sealed it is ready for paint. Once painted, the students install the axles, wheels, and hooks on the bottom of the car to follow the string on race day.


On race day, we order the cars in the cafeteria show on the floor. The track is 20 meters long (approx. 65'6"). If a car can achieve a time of 1 second, they have an average speed of just over 44 miles per hour! The fastest high school car we have ever had here at Wahoo is a car from 2008-2009 when Dustin Jirovsky's car ran a time of 1.068 seconds at an average speed of 41.82 miles per hour. The fastest middle school car we have had is Seth Stewart's car in 2007-2008. It ran a time of 1.084 seconds at an average speed of 41.20 miles per hour. When we race, the cars are seeded by their weight in a tournament bracket with the top seed being the lightest car. The students race in a single elimination tournament to determine that quarter's champion and runner up. At the end of the year, all of the 1st and 2nd place cars are placed in a 16 car bracket. The eight 1st and 2nd place cars will join the next fastest eight cars. Once the cars are seeded by weight, they race for the middle school championship. If high school students make a car, we will race them and have the 8th grade winner race against the high school winner. That car is the all school champion.

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Langemeier & Zetocka Take 1st/2nd Place in 2nd Quarter Metric 500 Race

Tara Burkey

Mar 04, 2010

Mr. Herrera!!! i hope when and if i'm in a woods class with you i can make a CO2 car again!!! see if you can keep my little brother's car... i bet i could beat him EASILY!!! :D