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Media Advisory 09-009

National Science Foundation and NASCAR Announce "The Science of Speed"

Online video series uses popular motor sport to teach science and engineering

Text and photo: Heat, Light, Sound, Motion, Spinning and Crunching Energy.

A "Science of Speed" video describes how the laws of energy help keep drivers safe.

April 1, 2009

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

On April 3, the National Science Foundation, NASCAR and the University of Texas at Dallas announce the availability of a new online series of videos called "The Science of Speed," which aims to improve engagement in science among students in grades 8-12. The 12-part video series borrows illustrations from the wildly popular motor sport to explain scientific principles essential to NASCAR racing, such as friction, heat, drag and drafting. Video segments feature drivers, crew chiefs and engineers from numerous NASCAR garages including Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota; Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet; and Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion.

What:The National Science Foundation unveils "The Science of Speed," a 12-part video series that teaches viewers the science behind making cars powerful, agile, fast and safe, and how these same principles affect their own cars.
Who:Jeff Nesbit, director of NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs; Andrew Giangola, director of business communication, NASCAR; Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, physics professor at UT Dallas and author of The Physics of NASCAR; and Brian Vickers, Red Bull Racing.
Where:Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas. Deadline Room.
When:Press event is April 3, 2:30 p.m.

Contact: For press credentials, please immediately e-mail Louis Mora, with your name, press affiliation and driver's license number including state.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:
Louis Mora, Texas Motor Speedway, email:

Program Contacts
Susan M. Mason, NSF, (703) 292-7748, email:

Principal Investigators
Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, University of Texas at Dallas, (972) 883-4631, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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