This is a project learning activity that covers 8th grade science standards as well as math and ELA. Designing balloon powered race cars is not too uncommon but this lesson takes it to the next level, incorporating data analysis with the use of a scatter plot and the outline for an argumentative essay based on evidence collected during the activity. This is a perfect way to provide an interdisciplinary approach to an exciting and challenging student-led science project.
In this lesson students will:
*Design and build a race car powered by an air-filled balloon
*participate in race with other builders
*collect data on mass and speed
*analyze data by creating a scatter plot
*write an argumentative essay explaining why or why not their car was successful based on their knowledge of Newton's laws and their collected data
This lesson includes:
*Student packet filled with review questions on Newton's Laws, rough draft area for designing their car, and data collection worksheets
*detailed teacher instructions for running and managing this project-based learning activity
*A writing guide and outline for the essay
*answer keys (where applicable)
This lesson is best suited for the traditional classroom environment however, it can be modified for the homeschooling environment. If you plan to use this in the homeschooling environment, I highly recommend working with a small cooperative group of at least 3 students in order to make the most of the data analysis portion.