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Power tool deficiency? Don’t worry about it! Now, even a CO2 dragster activity is possible without heavy-duty power tools. Pitsco does all the drilling and band saw work for you with the precut dragster blanks. Just use coping saws and sandpaper to fine-tune the basswood dragster’s shape, finish it as desired, and start the races.

Each basswood blank includes two car bodies rough cut to one of four shapes – the car bodies break apart easily. Predrilled axle and cartridge holes enable students to concentrate on adding fine details and reducing the weight to increase style and performance. Requires wheels, axles, bushings, finish, and a race system, sold separately.

Note: These axle holes are drilled to use the Ultimate Axle Bushings, sold separately.


The lightest, fastest bodies anywhere! If you want to build that ultralight screaming dragster machine, this is your blank.

The dragster blank is made from premium lightweight balsa wood. Each blank has a mass of 80 grams or less.


Design for Speed is a six-week unit that challenges students to apply STEM knowledge and design skills. Students engage in competitive engineering with the goal of creating the fastest and most eye-pleasing balsa wood or basswood dragster. They first develop a car concept and then build it. After a battery of tests and a speed test of their prototypes, they head back to the drawing board. Students analyze their cars for drag, mass, lift, and conformity to specifications, all with the aim of making the fastest car in the room for the culminating Day at the Races event. An aesthetics competition provides an added dimension and entices students who have an artistic flair.

Extensive web support is included such as online data tracking and exclusive access to instructional videos for each phase of the activity. Teacher familiarity with tool use and woodworking methods is required. The dragster launcher is sold separately.

Options Available
From $995.00

The principles of the science of speed – aerodynamics, thrust, friction, Newton’s laws of motion, and so on – are at the heart of many of the most exciting applied physics and engineering projects. Let’s Get Moving, the three-week introductory unit for the Science of Speed 2 program, teaches these concepts through several projects: a pop can engine, a balloon rocket, and air-powered bottle racers. Students not only build their vehicles, they also test them and interpret data for the purposes of reengineering. Each project successively builds on the others, and at the end of the unit, students are ready to move on to the next phase in the Science of Speed process.

The unit can stand alone and comes with everything you need to successfully complete the activity. The Science of Speed 2 program comes with extensive web support such as exclusive access to instructional videos for each phase of the activity.


Available now in both print and free digital download!

This guide continues the process of guiding students not only in designing and building an excellent dragster but also in understanding the science and technology principles that make this happen.

Production and Fine Tuning delves into the importance of carefully aligned axles, quality paint finishes, and more topics that go beyond shaping and basic construction. Some of the principles explored are:

  • Alignment and drift
  • Rolling and sliding friction
  • Aerodynamic drag
  • Specifications and trade-offs
  • Symmetry

Student materials in this guide are reproducible for distribution in your classroom. Use this guide as a supplement or use the series as the base for an engineering design course.

Equipment and materials needed to complete guide activities include the Pitsco Metric Dragsters – Getting Started Package (kits, launcher, and more), straws, modeling clay, digital scale, Roll Test Ramp, measuring tape, drill press or hand drill with 3/16" bit, spring scale, meterstick, shaping tools (for example, coping saw and rasp), dragster body blanks, try square or drafting right triangle, C-clamp, protractor, pulley, spray paint, and standard classroom tools and materials. Note: This list is for all activities; individual activities don’t require all listed materials.


Available now in both print and free digital download!

This book takes students through every step of the dragster design and construction process. Easy-to-understand text, photos, and illustrations provide clear instruction. Includes special design hints and building tips. A flowchart relates the dragster design process to real-world car design. A final section on race preparation helps students maximize their cars’ performance in competition.


Dr. Zoon knows all about dragsters, and so will your students after viewing this five-part comprehensive video in the Dr. Zoon dragster series. Videos are available individually or as a comprehensive video. All are closed-captioned and in DVD format.

Dr. Zoon Dragster Design Video (Part 1)
Students see cool cars – they may even draw cool cars all over their notebooks. But do they know how to turn a concept in their heads into a functioning dragster? They will after watching this program, which takes them from finding design inspiration to creating detailed 2-D sketches of their own CO2 cars.

Dr. Zoon Dragster Production: Hand Tools Video (Part 2)
Join Dr. Zoon as he demonstrates how to transfer a design to a CO2 dragster blank and then how to create the dragster using hand tools such as coping saws, wood rasps, planes, and hand drills. Hand tools are a less expensive – and safer – way to construct projects like dragsters, so let the good doctor show your students how to use them.

Dr. Zoon Dragster Production: Power Tools Video (Part 3)
Power tools are great and they save time, but they must be used with care. In this program, Dr. Zoon first shows students how to transfer their designs to dragster blanks. Then, he demonstrates how to use each tool – the drill press, scroll saw, belt sander, and rotary tool – to safely build a CO2 dragster.

Dr. Zoon Dragster Finishing Video (Part 4)
Let Dr. Zoon provide your class with the tips it needs to create smooth and shiny surfaces for CO2 dragsters. First, he demonstrates how to use hand brushes, acrylic paints, and clear acrylic to finish a dragster. Then, he shows students how to use spray paints instead. Whichever method they choose, students learn how to give dragsters a quality finish and a cool look!

Dr. Zoon Dragster Testing Video (Part 5)
In this program, Dr. Zoon shows how to get the best results out of a CO2 dragster. Roll-test ramps, wind tunnels, and test races – they each play a part in testing dragsters for the different things that affect their performance, including drag, rolling friction, alignment, and aerodynamics.

Options Available
From $24.95

Be the bearer of an exciting racing activity for your class – even if your school doesn’t have tools. This program shows you how simple it is to build a laser-cut EZ Build Dragster and how to race it like any typical CO2 dragster. Plus, learn about the seven-step design process, the function of CO2 cartridges, surface and fluid friction, and more.


Taking one of the four styles of precut dragsters and turning it into your own unique CO2 dragster proves an easier task with this program to keep you on track. This process is complemented by information about the design process, calculating average speed, the third law of motion, and other concepts.


This is everything you need to start an introductory dragster activity in your classroom. Features the AP Dragster Designer, which enables students to explore design, aerodynamics, friction, and other concepts.

Requires shaping tools such as a coping saw, wood shaver, and sanding stick or sandpaper, sold separately.


This air-powered vehicle kit includes a balsa wood body blank that students shape, enabling them to apply knowledge of aerodynamics, friction, and other principles. After shaping the dragster, they assemble it and launch it on the AP Dragster Launcher, an air-powered launcher.

Requires the AP Dragster Launcher; an air pump; and simple cutting, shaving, or sanding tools such as a coping saw, wood shaver, or sanding stick, sold separately.

Options Available
From $60.50

This dragster kit launches with air power, and its laser-cut chassis parts provide a quick and easy build. Also includes a car body design sheet that students can color and cut out. Or students can design and draw their own car body and use it.

Requires the AP Dragster Launcher, an air pump, HD Bond II or similar white glue, glue stick, and scissors, sold separately.

Options Available
From $5.95

How do you show young students the basic concepts of force and motion? Try this activity using a plastic bottle to create a racer that flies down the track and is powered by air pressure. These are fun to build, and students personalize their racers with paint, decals, or other items. Track length is 35' to 40'.

Requires no tools – just some paint or decals, sold separately, if desired.


Perfect for resupplying your AP Bottle Racer – Getting Started Package! Includes 30 of the fun AP Bottle Racer Kits, which don’t require any tools for students to build – just some paint or decals, sold separately, if desired.

Launching requires the AP Bottle Racer Launcher and a tire pump, sold separately.


Build an air-powered bottle rocket car to race in no time! This basic kit makes it easy for your students to make a launchable rocket car with ease – no tools required.

Comes with corrugated chassis material, wheels, bushings, axles, string guide tube, bottle, and self-adhesive tabs – everything you need for one car. Launching requires the AP Bottle Racer Launcher and a tire pump, sold separately.


A rite of spring for more than 50 years, pine car races are cherished by Scouts and other organizations as a fun learning experience with gravity-powered vehicles. These body blanks provide the basis of the experience, but in a range of shapes to get things rolling. From sporty to powerful, there is a shape to please. All blanks have cut axle grooves and instructions.

Available as a blank or in kits (see below) that include wheels and axles.

Options Available
From $2.99