Solar Car Engineering Challenge Unit

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Intended Grade Level(s):
Learning Goal(s):

After the completion of this lesson students will be able to: • Describe how solar cars work • Accurately record and measure data • Use data to propose changes to experimental designs • Research a topic • Complete a full engineering assignment • Explain pros/cons of various prototypes • Work successfully within a group to accomplish a specific task • Brainstorm various ideas

Estimated Activity Length:
40 min

Students will build a solar car using instructions provided (Sol Run). They will take measurements of their car and then test to see how fast it can travel a 3m track. After students obtain their initial results they will research how to improve the car’s top speed and then design and build an improved model.

Science Kit Material(s) Used:
1.5-Volt 500mA Solar Module
2-Volt, 500mA Solar Modules
3-Volt, 1A Solar Module
Solar Machines Kit
Other Material(s) Used:
Extra solar panels • Extra motors • Various wires, clamps, wheels, etc. • Solar car instructions • Light (lamps or sunlight) • Track • Computers (for research) • Lab sheets • Graph paper • Timers • Meter sticks