If you want to play the hero card with friends visiting for the 100th running of the Indy 500, here’s your chance with an exhibit focused on what makes cars go fast. A car driven by former IndyCar champion Scott Dixon is literally cut in half so you can actually see the “innards” to learn how these magnificent machines work. Families are also invited to race the clock in a real pit stop challenge, turn wheels to determine if a large or small wheel is harder to maneuver, and watch the pumping pistons of an engine while pushing buttons to hear the variety of sounds made by different engines in various race cars. There will also be special appearances by IndyCar drivers on select dates in May 2016.
Educators agree that race cars are the perfect vehicle to demonstrate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. “Hot Wheels racing offers children a means of exploring scientific concepts such as gravity, velocity and kinetic energy in an engaging and accessible way. It also encourages inquiry and real world problem-based learning through play,” said Cathy Southerland, Director Early Childhood Education, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
There will be plenty of the iconic orange track and die-cast cars to test your own theories of physics and speed at the museum. And, you can take those concepts home to extend the learning with your family. Hot Wheels agrees that play and hands-on activities go a long way to helping children understand what would otherwise seem like difficult concepts. So, they’ve developed Hot Wheels Speedometry to accelerate learning (visit www.hotwheels.com/en-us/speedometry.html to learn more.) The Children’s Museum also has lesson plans for teachers and homeschoolers at www.childrensmuseum.org, click on educators to uncover more valuable learning guides.