Give students the opportunity to test various variables in constructing a test track to better understand force, motion and friction. Students will first be able to observe, changing as many variables as they'd like to get an idea for how different changes affect the distance a car travels.
Finally, students will follow the steps to the scientific method, using their understanding to decide on one variable to change and then test.
Materials used could include: textures: paper, carpet, tin foil, plastic wrap- height: text books, tables - length: rulers, cardboard, pvc pipe
You can alter materials to your liking.
**Important to ensure that students realize that they are not conduction an experiment the first time as they are not testing one variable. The second time they are determining what single factor affects the distance of the car.
**TO increase difficulty, you could change distance to speed and have students time their cars and determine the speed as well **
*Math correlation: Depending on your choosing, students will need to measure (different units if you'd like). Students may also need to use time if you choose to measure speed.
*ELA correlation: Students are required to explain their learning in writing and to compare and contrast the two activities.
*This could be great as an introduction to force and motion, allowing students to observe and come up with conclusions prior to a unit or after, using all of their new knowledge and understanding to further deepen it.