Car Race 1
Time 6 hrs

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites Thinking Like A Scientist
Departments Science
Authors Flora Lai
Groupings Threes
Minimum Year Group None


Have you ever built a car out of recyclable materials? What do you think makes a non-engine powered car go faster or slower? You will be doing some hands on activities in to investigate this.


What is needed to run this unit?
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Cross-Curricular Links
Do not try and force this. What areas of other subjects might this reflect and/discuss language. For IB, links with ToK.
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Teacher Reflection
What was successful? What needs changing? Alternative Assessments and Lesson Ideas? What other Differentiation Ideas/Plans could be used?
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Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.
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70 mins
Building your cars
  • You need to work with at least 2 other students (at most 4 other students) for this unit, as you will each be building a car from recyclable materials.
  • Look up how you could build a car with RECYCLABLE materials and come up with a plan by drawing a digram of what you think this car should look like and what materials you would use for what parts.
  • Plan to gather these recyclable materials you need - e.g. CD roms, cardboards, film cases, straws, strings,etc. You can always share these resources when building.
  • Construct a table for who is bringing in what next lesson.
  • Bring these materials in for next lesson. You can look around in the school for these two, but DON'T TAKE ANYTHING WITHOUT PERMISSION.

120 mins
Builiding your cars
30 mins
The race!

  • Construct a tilted surface (a slope) with books or anything you can safely use in the classroom. Again, don't use anything without permission.
  • These cars will all be released from the top of this surface and you will be timing how long it takes your car to reach the bottom of the hill and also how far it travels on after it reaches the bottom.
  • Each person gets 3 go's.
  • Take some photographs of your cars before you begin.
  • Construct a table for recording the results before you start.
  • The car which travels the fastest and longest will win the competition!

140 mins
Publishing your results
Group work

As a whole group, you are now to create a poster (by hand or electronically are both fine), of why you think a certain car traveled faster than the others....

Do include some pictures!

These websites might help you:

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