STEM Challenge Build a Car

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Teachers Are Terrific
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Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Standards
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Pages
37 pages
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Description

Can you build a car ---out of an array of materials? Students use an array of 10- 12 materials to build a rolling car! This is a great team-building activity that will have your students solving many problems. Their little cars will be spectacular! This is a project that kids love to complete and share with each other.

Please note: This lesson is available in a combination package!

What is the challenge?

This STEM challenge is a building experience. Students have specific supplies and must design a car that rolls. They must work together to use the supplies in a creative way. Their thinking will truly be tested as they encounter problems to solve. The choices they make of the materials and how to use them is the heart of this challenge.

SOME THINGS TO NOTE:

  • This experience will take two class sessions to complete.
  • You will need materials along with this package. The materials listed here are just a list of suggestions. You may certainly add to your supplies with items you have or things the students bring in.
  • ★ Suggested supplies include cardboard, foam, cardstock, empty water bottles, plastic and foam cups, craft sticks, dowel sticks, pipe cleaners, straws, washers, bottle caps, boxes, aluminum foil, rubber bands, twist ties, tape, string, glue, card stock, construction paper.
  • You do not need all of these things! I listed a wide variety- all of which we have tried, but never all of these items at the same time.
  • Extensive notes about the materials are included in this resource. I included what we used and the pros and cons of the items. Photos will give you many tips about what to try!

NOTE: This package contains two files! This package specifically includes: Cover, Teacher Background, Materials and Preparation pages, 5 pages of Step-by-Step Procedures for Teachers, Student Lab Sheet with sample student answers, 4 pages of photos, 2 pages of Helpful Hints and Extensions, parent letter to help with getting materials, a scoring rubric, and a Terms of Use page. The package also contains editable files! This includes the lab sheets, two versions of the constraints poster, the parent letter, and the scoring rubric. The page count listed includes everything.

This is a wonderful activity! The designing, building, and rebuilding will challenge your students. This activity does work. You can build a car using a bunch of junk and you can make one that will roll!

You might also enjoy these STEM packages about Building:

You can purchase all THREE packages about Building in a money-saving bundle:

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You might also enjoy these STEM Challenges:

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Total Pages
37 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
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Standards

to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
NGSS3-PS2-1
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball can make it start moving; and, balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides will not produce any motion at all. Assessment is limited to one variable at a time: number, size, or direction of forces. Assessment does not include quantitative force size, only qualitative and relative. Assessment is limited to gravity being addressed as a force that pulls objects down.
NGSS4-PS3-4
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device. Devices should be limited to those that convert motion energy to electric energy or use stored energy to cause motion or produce light or sound.
NGSS3-5-ETS1-3
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
NGSS3-PS2-2
Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw. Assessment does not include technical terms such as period and frequency.
NGSS4-PS3-1
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.

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