Journalism Next from Manatee School for the Arts

Racing in the Name of Math

Special to the HeraldFebruary 11, 2013 

Manatee School for the Arts 8th, 9th and 10th graders were rewarded in a big way for their success in math for the first semester. In five groups, they boarded the bus and rode to Andersen RacePark and raced in the name of math and physics.

"Very competitive" and "loads of fun" were just a few words students used to describe the day at the track. Many of the students who were not planning on entering the physics class, which is taught by Mr. Hillier, are now interested in signing up for the class.

Last school year, MSA had the first physics of motorsports course. In this course, students learn physics while at the same time applying the classroom lessons on the track to make their lap times decrease.

Students also learn various programs on the computer, such as Microsoft Excel, that will, and have, come in handy for most that took the class. Finally the question, "When will I use this in life?" has been answered. Students learn gear ratios, G forces, negative and positive acceleration, measuring sound, as well as the relationship between horsepower and torque and friction.

The course is available to all 9th-12th graders who have passed Algebra I. The course meets the standards set by the state, enabling students to receive a science credit. The reason behind the class is simple: our country is falling behind other countries like China and Japan in the amount of engineers that we produce in our schools. The physics and motorsports class is designed to give students a taste of what it would be like to pursue a career in the field of engineering.

Manatee School for the Arts also has a race team. The team has its own karts and equipment along with the members who are anxious to put them to use. As stated by Mr. Hillier, "The team is now getting off the ground!" and hopes are high for many of the students at MSA. The team has karts and drivers, and they are currently planning on events in the future and attempting to gain funds through sponsors. "From now on, every day is race day at MSA."

To find out more about the Mr. Hillier's physics class, please go to

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