I have completed this design brief with my fourth grade students and they love it. In this design brief the students will design and build a transportation device that will transport cargo (D size battery) over the frozen tundra of Alaska using the power of the wind (a fan). The vehicle should travel at least 15 feet. I place a measuring tape down so students can see how far their vehicle travels. Each group of students is given a budget of $25.00 to build their vehicle. They must plan carefully as the budget is tight. I give them money and they are responsible for hanging on to it. I create a store in the classroom and students must buy the items to build their vehicle. In addition, some items like scissors, rulers, Crop a dile punch, and the hand drill may be rented. I kept this in Word so it could be changed if needed in case you don’t have all the supplies listed. You need to be comfortable editing tables in Word.
I created the wheels for this project with a 3D printer. I printed two different size wheels and the students also had the choice to use wooden wheels as well. This gave them a variety of options. Should they have large wheels in the back and smaller one s in the front? They have to determine what would make their vehicle travel further. I allowed them to return items if they were in the same condition as they were purchased.
If you don’t have access to a 3D printer for different size wheels, the design brief and can easily adapted. The students could make wheels out of Pringle can tops or anything circular.
If students ran out of money, they were allowed to write to the store clerk asking for a loan.