Ooohs and Aaaahhs

This week at RaceYa, we're celebrating the explosive ideas that make our July 4th festivities possible.

Of course the 4th is about independence from monarchy, but we're in it for the amazing Explosions! In fact - if the car you ride in uses gasoline, then you are sitting on a wave of hundreds of explosions per minute! 

The internal combustion engine uses tiny explosions to push down apiston >  which moves the crank shaft > which moves the wheels. The faster the wheels, the faster the crank, the more explosions needed!

So, when you're off to your BBQs this summer, think of Margaret Knight.
Not only did she invent the paper bag you're carrying your hot dogs in, but she also invented a way to make combustion engines quieter. 

Now - on to the Fireworks!

Field Guide to Fireworks

Improve your fireworks vocabulary with this primer from one of the fireworks designers at Macy's.

An explosive history.

More than 1,000 years ago, a Chinese monk named Li-Tian filled a bamboo tube with gunpowder and threw it into a fire. The rest is history.

The Chemistry of Fireworks

One part oxidizer. One part fuel. One part color. See how it all comes together in a symphony of light and sound.

Please try this at home.

 Safer, but still satisfyingly pop-y, the folks at Playdough to Plato use Alka-Seltzer to fuel these mini rockets.

And finally, we'll be at the World's Fair this September 16th-17th in NYC! 
Come on over and say Hello!


Abigail and Team RaceYa

P.S.  Know anyone with a need for speed?  Share us!

My Ride My Rules

Crazy tires. Rad suspension. GLITTER.
Cars are the ultimate vehicle
for customization.

Watch us bring the bling to GMA! Heather Cabot (co-author of Geek Girl Rising) called RaceYa one of the four Smartest Gadgets for Girls on the May 29 edition of Good Morning America.  In case you missed it, see the clip here!

"The point is, you can customize the cars to fit your personality." 

Where to start?  

A few weeks back we talked a lot about springs and how they made your ride smoother. But what if the goalis to make everyday like riding at the way-way back of the school bus? These amazing cars use hydraulics to make their cars jump, bounce and even dance.

Though she be but little she is fierce. 

You know how the kid with the ride-on power-wheels car is always the envy of the neighborhood? Well it turns out that envy never goes away. It just grows up, gets a new motor, a bigger battery and maybe some new tires. Check out power-wheels racing at a Maker Faire near you. 

Go big or go home. 

Have you ever tried to get into the wrong car in a parking lot because they all look the same? Not gonna happen with one of these Art Cars. We've even seen a few of these driving around NYC!

Please try this at home.

Grab some paint, a few toy cars and a very large piece of paper for a totally different take on the art car. The artful folks over atLearn~Play~Imagine have a few tips.

No matter what - always let your flair shine through.

Abigail and Team RaceYa

P.S.  Know anyone with a need for speed?  Share us!

Happy Sally Ride Day!

In 1983 Sally Ride blasted through barriers as the first American woman to go to space.

So how did she get there?

Sally was pretty sure she was going to be a tennis player when she grew up. Then she caught the science bug. The rest is history. 

Would you qualify

Check out some of NASA's requirements. Or find out what it's like out there from Jerry Carr, who spent over 2000 hours in space.

It's not rocket science.

Want to know how rockets work? The basic principle is just Newton's third law. The folks at Veritasium  explain.

Please try this at home

Baking soda rockets are where chemistry meets trajectory, so give yourself some room to zoom. 

Today there are loads of amazing women in the space program. So if you want to be an astronaut, just set your sights as high as Sally did.


Abigail and Team RaceYa

Spinning Out of Control

Our heads are spinning here at RaceYa, and you can probably guess why.

Yes, everyone's doing it.

Now that every creature on the planet seems to be in on the spin we thought we’d dig into physics behind it all. Here’s a quick and dirty explanation from GorillaPhysics.

A new spin on things.

Ball bearings are key to the fidget spinner -- and the basic principles -- friction and inertia,  are pretty easy to understand. But Physics Girl found some toys that put a whole new spin on things.

Wanna go old school?

Clearly spinning is both fascinating and addictive. And you don’t even need a special toy to do it.

Please try this at home.

Those guys make it look easy. But in case you need a few tips, Sam Tucker will take you through the basics:


Abigail and Team RaceYa

A Battery of Batteries

We've been experimenting with our favorite source of portable energy...

What's a Battery Anyway? 

The clever folks over at SparkFun define batteries as "a collection of one or more cells whose chemical reactions create a flow of electrons in a circuit."  Solar power, electric power, even wind power all rely on some form of battery to store the energy they generate. What sort of energy does your home use and where is it stored

Wanna try?

Build a super simple electromagnetic motor.
Michael Faraday first invented them in the 1820s. Now they're used for hybrid cars and wind energy. 

DIY Electric Train

You can use the same principles to make this speedy little battery train.  How far and fast you take it is up to you.

Now dig this!

Speaking of clean energy, we just had to try this down and dirty experiment from Teach Beside Me. Yep, it really works!

No matter how much energy it takes, let's all keep working to protect the earth and our environment every day.


Abigail and Team RaceYa