Here’s to the teachers who think outside the box

While there are still those who insist the only way to educate students is to stand in the front of the class and just drill info into their brains, we’re more impressed by the teachers who figure out more efficient ways to get kids to learn.

In Thorp, Wis., Jarrett Davidson fits the bill; he has developed a new math curriculum, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says.

Mathematics in auto racing.

“The first semester is based on having the students build a gaming computer and a racing simulator,” he explained. “We will then look at the math and physics ideas behind the car, teach the kids how to drive a car on a simulator on an oval and dirt track and work on precision in measurements within the race car.”

In the second semester, the students will take an actual race car apart and then put it back together, setting it up the way their math tells them would be the best way to win a race.

Then a pro driver will take it to the track and see how it works out.


Davidson, who is only 24, says he came up with the idea while teaching Algebra I to a senior who needed it to graduate. He wondered how much the student would actually use what he just drilled into the kid.

No surprise. Davidson is a race fan who wanted to combine his job with his hobby in a way that might make it easier for kids to learn.

The school superintendent is excited too, but Davidson says he’ll have to raise money on his own — maybe finding a sponsorship for the race car — to be able to do what he wants.

Related: Mathematics Through Car Racing Concepts. Physics, Car Design, and Driver’s Inputs.

Archive: School kids build an airplane (NewsCut)