Compare current car options and discuss their impact on the environment. Then, design and build a toy vehicle that has minimal impact on the environment.
- Variety of recycled materials to make:
- Car body
- Rubber bands
- Electric motors
- Solar cells
- Gear sets
- Hot glue gun
- Box fans
What presenters do
- Compare current car options and discuss their impact on the environment.
What students do
- Design and build a toy vehicle that has minimal impact on the environment. This can be done individually or in teams. Limited supplies will be available. Depending on the student age and ability level, materials may be provided to make a car that is either powered by a sail, balloon, rubber band, battery or solar cell (with gear set).
- Test the cars to see how fast, far, or straight they go.
- Make modifications to improve performance.
- Race against other vehicles and compare the performance of different designs.
Conclusion/Follow up Questions
- Which car went fastest? farthest? straightest?
- How could you improve your car's performance?
Next Generation Science Standards:
- K-2 ETS1: Engineering Design
- A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems- Ask questions, make observations, and gather information to clearly understand the problem
- B: Developing Possible Solutions- Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models. These representations are useful in communicating ideas for a problem’s solution to other people.
- C: Optimizing the Design Solution – Because there is always more than one possible solution to a problem, it is useful to compare and test designs.
- 3-5-ETS1 - Engineering Design
- A: Defining Engineering Problems- Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.
- B: Developing Possible Solutions - Research on a problem should be carried out before beginning to design a solution. Communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and shared ideas can lead to improved designs. Tests are often designed to identify failure point or difficulties, which suggest that elements of the design that need to be improved.
- C: Optimizing the Design Solution- Different solutions need to be tested in order to determine which of them best solves the problem, given the criteria and the constraints.
- How much of an impact on the environment would your car make?
- What is powering your car?