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Anytime is TEE time: Technology, Engineering, and Electronic Communication You won’t find golf balls and clubs here! Come see the Next Generation Science Standards in Action. Grab hold of your creative instincts and define, design and optimize utilizing the engineering design process to construct a gravity-powered candy race car. Make the car at the conference and then take this activity back to your elementary or middle school classroom. Additional tips will be given on effective electronic communication.

Presented by: Renee Anderson, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Nicole Hoffman, Illiniois Mathematics and Science Academy

Friday, November 2, 2012 Crowne Plaza Hotel, Springfield IL 11:00-11:50a.m. First Floor Plaza A


Hot Rod Hamster Candy Car Racers TEACHER PAGES Objectives: Students will: become familiar with the engineering design process by using it to brainstorm solutions to a problem and then build, test, and refine their prototype. communicate design strategies for efficient, gravity powered cars including size, mass, and speed. be financially responsible and purchase materials for their car within predetermined budget constraints.

Background Information Energy is the ability to do work. Three properties characterize and distinguish energy as it exists in the world today. Energy can be transferred, transformed, and conserved. First, energy can be transferred from one object to another object. For example, energy transfer can occur if a moving object hits an object at rest (i.e. you are pushing a shopping cart and release it so that it hits a stationary shopping cart, the stationary shopping cart will then have energy to move). Second, energy can be transformed or converted from one form to another. For example, if an apple is hanging from a branch and then suddenly falls to the ground. The apple had stored energy or potential energy when it was resting on the branch and then as the apple fell to the ground it was moving and had energy of motion or kinetic energy. The greater the object’s mass and/or the faster it is moving the more kinetic energy it will have. Third, energy is always conserved; it can’t be created nor destroyed. This principle is scientifically known as the Law of Conservation of Energy. Speed is a measure of how fast an object is moving. The equation used to calculate speed is the distance traveled divided by the time it took the object to travel that distance. It can be written as a formula using the symbols: s = d ÷ t. Speed has units of meters per second (m/s), among others.

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Rolling resistance and aerodynamics are two important concepts that will be touched upon during this lesson. Rolling resistance occurs when a round object moves on a surface. The resistance depends on the round object (bicycle wheel, car wheel, semi-truck wheel) and the surface (sand, concrete, ice). Aerodynamics is the way air moves around things. Students will utilize the engineering design process to solve the challenge presented. The process is cyclical in nature and has several steps including: problem identification, brainstorming, designing solutions, building, testing, and evaluating as well as redesigning and sharing/communicating solution(s). Below is a graphical depiction of the process that the PBS kids organization uses in print and online.

Image from: http://pbskids.org/designsquad/pdf/parentseducators/workshop/designprocess_poster.pdf

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Inquiry Overview Student led teams conceptualize, build, test, and acquire knowledge while becoming familiar with the engineering design process. Using an open-ended inquiry approach students are able to foster their creativity. Students learn to apply multiple skills and develop the habits of innovators. Students are encouraged to think about needs, requirements, and alternatives as they progress though the lesson. Additionally, students consider materials, energy, inputs, and outputs. The overall combining of generative, analytical, synthesizing, and evaluative thinking allows students to finalize their design choice and initiate construction.

Suggested Inquiry Approach Begin by having students go on a “motion walk” around their school to identify examples of motion. Record their suggestions on butcher paper. Suggested inquiry question: What do you see that moves?

Materials Letter from Tillman Worksheet Sets of $700 play money Lifesaver mints Straws Popsicle Sticks Masking Tape Index Cards Paper Clips Scissors Pencils Stopwatches Glue guns Glue gun sticks Ramp (Two rain gutters) Scale (To collect the mass of the finished cars) Metric Rulers Metric Tape Measure Washers Safety Goggles Pliers/Wire Cutters AV Requirements Computer Projector Screen Speakers Extension Cords

Setting the stage: Tillman, the English bulldog, needs help. He likes to cruise the skate parks on his skateboard. However, his friend Hampton the hamster cannot keep up with Tillman. Tillman would like your students to build Hampton a car that rolls down hills. He is willing to invest in the design of a car but only up to $700 per group. Students must plan their design using the worksheet and hot rod money. After they design their car on paper, they will use the engineering design process to construct a car out of simple materials. Students test the car by time-racing it down a ramp. Students collect data by measuring distances and recording times so that they may use these measured values in an equation to calculate speed. Students may discover that mass does have an effect on speed due to increased friction. Students also develop an understanding of the cause and effect energy relationships. In the end, students share their results and solutions for their cars with the group.

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Designate an area in the classroom for the scale and explain that it needs to be shared. Review how to use the scale.


Part 1: (Identify the Problem, Brainstorm and Design) To begin, show the video of Tillman skateboarding to the students. Here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8XAlSp838Y&feature=relmfu. It is called “Skateboarding Dog HD Redux’. Next, show the students the letter from Tillman. Call upon students to read the letter aloud for the class. Instead, you may choose to introduce the contents of the letter by using a video. Here is the link: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/13775254/tillmans-letter.

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Teacher note: Distribute letter from Tillman

Distribute the ‘Hotrod Hamster’ worksheet to groups. Go through each step on the worksheet. Ask if students have questions about the task. Have students work on the design of their cars. Tell them that they need to make sure their car can roll on the track. Be sure to go from group to group and assist students’ thinking and designing, as needed. Ask students to share their designs. Part 2: (Construction) Remind students of the problem by asking the following questions: Who remembers what we did during our last session? What is the problem that we are trying to solve? What rules do we have to follow when creating our cars? What were some possible solutions? What materials are we using? At this point, you might choose to show the letter again. Invite student groups to purchase their supplies. Have students build their cars. Tell students they can see if their cars roll on the ramp but that they will have to finalize their car before they can do a time trial.

Teacher note: Distribute hot rod play money

Have students clean up the supplies and put their cars in an area in the classroom where they will not be damaged. Below are several suggested mid-point questions: After building your car, how does the actual car compare to your sketched design? What difficulties did you encounter when building the car? What were the deciding factors in selecting parts to use to build your car? What supplies did you have to purchase that you didn’t anticipate buying in your sketch?

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Teacher Note: Students must wear safety goggles when cutting paperclips!


Part 3: (Test, Evaluate and Refine) Remind students of the problem they are trying to solve. If they haven’t yet, have students prepare for the time trial by collecting their car’s specifications. The great race! Students should race their cars down the track. Students will release their cars from the top of the track and calculate an average speed. Be sure they record their time trials on their worksheet. Students can redesign their car by purchasing additional supplies, if they have money left over. Begin to analyze the data as a class. Ask which group’s car went fastest and which group’s car went farthest. Use the group data sheet to collect all groups’ data. Using graph paper, guide students through the creation of an appropriate graph using the data. Ask students to draw conclusions from the graph. Students should fill in responses to the questions on the student sheet. As a group, host a debriefing session.

Debrief What caused the car to move? What features of your car worked well? What was the most challenging part of the design process? Based on your findings, what are two things you would change about your car to make it travel faster? Suppose that no financial considerations were tied to designing Hampton’s car, what materials would you use and how much would the new car cost?

Extensions Have students calculate gravitational potential energy and/ or kinetic energy. The formulas are as follows: GPE=mass(kg)*gravity(m/s2)*height(m) KE=1/2*m(kg)*v2(m/s2) Show Design Squad’s video on creating a skate park: http://pbskids.org/designsquad/video/index.html?pid=naOFK ZBRUVDvTzo0_Rc9qsS2HYQnDvv8

Resources http://pbskids.org/designsquad www.teachengineering.org http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8XAlSp838Y&feature=relmfu http://nhoffman48.edublogs.org/2012/10/23/hot-rod-ramp/

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Tillman Skates

World’s Fastest Skateboarding Dog 123 Dog Treat Street Los Angeles, CA

Bow Wow Wow, Young Engineers! It’s me, Tillman! I hold the Guinness World Record for World's Fastest Skateboarding Dog. Recently, I found myself lazing about in my doggy bed, when, *ring ring* my iBone started to ring. It was my friend Hampton the Hamster. Hampton has a problem. He wants to keep up with me and my board at the parks. He needs you to build him a car. Could you help him out? He likes to go really fast! Please design a car and test it for Hampton! Use your classroom materials to build a prototype for us. We can only afford to provide you with $700 for material costs. Your furry friend,

Tillman Skates

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Name:______________________________________________________________________

HOTROD HAMSTER p. 1 of 4

Problem: How can you and your partner design a car for Hampton the Hamster that will roll down the ramp at the fastest possible speed? Challenge: Each team only has $700 to use! Each team must purchase their materials from the auto parts manager at the prices listed below.

Item

Cost PER Item

Lifesaver Mints Straw Popsicle Stick Masking Tape Index Card Paper Clip Weights

$75 per mint $100 per straw $50 per stick $50 per 12� section $25 per card $25 per clip $10 per penny

Imagine: Brainstorm several ideas you and your partner have for building a really fast car.

Design: Draw out your car design and label each of the different materials used (mints, tape, straw, etc.)

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HOTROD HAMSTER p. 2 of 4

Build: List how much of each material you will need to build your car. Multiply the amount you need by the cost of the material and then add all of the amounts together. How much is the total cost of your car? Do you have enough money? Item

Cost PER Item

Lifesaver Mints Straw Popsicle Stick Masking Tape Index Card Paper Clip Weight

$75 per mint $100 per straw $50 per stick $50 per 12” section $25 per card $25 per clip $10 per penny

Number Purchased

Number X Cost

Total Cost of Purchase

Total Spent EXAMPLE

Lifesaver Mints Popsicle Stick Masking Tape Index Card Paper Clips Weight

$75 per mint $50 per stick $50 per 12” section $25 per card $25 per clip $10 per penny

3 5 1 1 2 0

3 X $75 5 X $50 1 X $50 1 X $25 3 X $25 0 X $10 Total Spent

$225 $250 $50 $25 $75 $0 $625

After building your car, how does the actual car compare to your sketched design? What difficulties did you encounter when building the car? What were the deciding factors in selecting parts to use to build your car? What supplies did you have to purchase that you didn’t anticipate buying in your sketch?

Specifications: To prepare for the time trial, you will need to collect some information pertaining to your car. Using the appropriate tools, determine the following: The mass of our car is __________________ (g). The length of our car is __________________(cm). The width of our car is ___________________(cm).The height of our car is ___________________ (cm). 2012 Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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HOTROD HAMSTER p. 3 of 4

Test: When you are ready to race your car, select one person to be the car releaser and one to be the car timer. The car releaser will place the car at the top of the ramp when ready to release, the releaser will say START. When the car has stopped, the releaser will say STOP. The car timer will start and stop the stopwatch according to the releaser’s prompts and record the time in the table below. After your trials, determine the speed of each trial and then the average speed of all trials. Trial

Distance traveled (cm)

Distance traveled (m)

Time (s)

Speed (m/s)

Average Speed (m/s)

1 2 3

Which group’s car went fastest? Which group’s car went farthest? Use the table below to collect data from other groups. Group Name

Average Speed (m/s)

Mass of Car (g)

Distance Traveled (m)

Group Name

Average Speed (m/s)

Mass of Car (g)

Distance Traveled (m)

Using a piece of graph paper, create a graph for the data from the table. What conclusions can you draw from this graph?

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HOTROD HAMSTER p. 4 of 4

Think: 1.What features of your car worked well?

2.What was the most challenging part of the engineering design process?

3.Based on your findings, what are two things you would change about your car to make your car travel faster?

4.Suppose that no financial constraints were tied to designing Hampton’s car, what materials would you use and how much would the new car cost?

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Anytime is TEE Time Hot Rod Hamster Activity  

A PDF of an activity integrating science and the engineering design process into a middle school classroom

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