In annual tradition, fifth-graders were off to the races May 27 at the Appleton Village School.

Each year, students in Tammy King’s class design, build and race dowel-constructed race cars. The project goes along with a unit on blueprints, how to follow the plan, and ties together math, science and laws of motion.

Before the start of the race, students walked the length of the gymnasium showcasing their vehicles to race-goers, while King read the vehicles’ specifications, which were written by the students.

Then the race began. Each student had the opportunity to race his or her car three times and it was the best time that was counted toward the final standings. The car was released from the top of a ramp and the distance was recorded from the bottom of the ramp to the car. The official measurer was Anthony Collins, who said he participated in the race at the school 15 years ago.

The top five students were chosen in three categories: the car that traveled the farthest distance, most stylish, and the crowd chose the best names.

The winners were:


1. Pineapple Cake, 60 feet, 9 inches, Natalie Owre

2. Mr. Neon Spots, 58 feet, 6 inches, Madisen Maxwell

3. The Battle Buggie, 57 feet, 1 inch, Jeannette Baxter

4. The Lightning Thief, 57 feet, 1 inch, Cole Corey

5. Bright Nitro, 54 feet, 1 inch, Audrey Heriz-Smith


1. Arachnophobia, Caleb Boyington

2. Lightning Thief, Cole Corey

3. Sonic Boom, Isaac Keiran

4. The Watermelon, Vivian Robinson-Fisher

5. Barricuda, Hunter Pease

Most creative name:

1. Pineapple Cake, Natalie Owre

2. Mr. Neon Spots, Madisen Maxwell

3. Sonic Boom, Isaac Keiran

4. The Jelly Bean, Gillian Lafleche

5. The Amazing Pace, Annalee Carroll