- Simple Machines
- LESSON PLANS
- Electricity and Circuits
- Engineering Design Process
- Green Design
- Helping Others
- Simple Machines
Make a car that uses a battery-operated motor to go at least ten feet.
MATERIALS (PER CAR)*
- 1.5-volt AA battery
- AA battery holder (optional)
- Compact discs (CDs)
- Corrugated cardboard (one piece about 5 1/2 inches square)
- Electrical wire (22-gauge)
- 8 faucet washers (4, Size: 1/4 inch Large; and 4, Size: 1 to 1 1/8 inch)
- Motor with attached gear that runs on 1.5-volt AA battery
- Poster putty (1/4 package—the tackiest available)
- 2 wooden skewers (the thinnest available)
- Tape (masking or duct)
- Wire strippers
BRAINSTORM AND DESIGN
To begin, look at the materials and consider the following questions:
- The motorized wheel attaches directly to the shaft coming out of the motor. But how will I connect the unmotorized wheels to the car?
- Where do the motor and battery need to be in order to move the car?
- How will I run the wires so they don't interfere with how the car moves?
- How will I make sure the wires stay well connected to the battery and motor?
BUILD, TEST, AND REDESIGN
To make your motor work, you'll have to make a circuit, a pathway for electricity. A circuit has a source of electricity (your battery), something that uses the electricity (the motor), and conductors to carry the electricity (the wires).
Review your materials and think about how you can use them to meet the challenge. Once you've finish building, try out your car in the testing area. When we made ours, we had to debug some things. For example, our motor stopped working, the wheels wobbled, and some parts dragged on the ground. If any of these things happen to you, figure out a way to fix the problem.