Students design cars

Students design cars

by Bill Golden and Angie Fino
Stearley Heights Elementary

Third Graders at Stearley Heights Elementary School delved into the world of Formula One this past month as they had to design and race their own “Bumpy Buggy.” Students had to create and build a car out of recycled materials.  The final step of this project was to race their car against classmates.  Each car had to have a driver (drivers range from Winnie the Pooh to a storm trooper to a stuffed squirrel). Students had to build, test and rebuild their cars until they had a buggy that was ready to compete. Students were given a rubric to help build the best buggy possible.  This lesson involved all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); addressing multiple science and math standards.

Students learned what it takes to be an engineer and the importance of testing and retesting their designs. Each student had to submit a blueprint and an essay explaining how they built and rebuilt their cars. Teachers helped their students by having their students work on simple machines, gravity as a force and aerodynamics. Students took their knowledge from the classroom and spent their Winter Holiday designing their cars.

Each third grade class had a qualifying heat where the top three racers competed at the Grand Prix. The racing between the 12 racers was intense as students, teachers and parents watched with anticipation to determine the winning buggy.   After an hour of heated action, three winners took the podium.  Amidst the cheers of their classmates, Ally Wilson took First Place and claimed the Lewis Hamilton prize while Delaney Walden claimed Second Place and Ryann Berdoza grabbed Third Place.   All three winners designed creative and unique racing cars that were engineered to dominate on the track.

First place winner, Ally Wilson said, “This activity was fun as I like to build things.”  Third place winner, Ryann Berdoza also in Mrs. Canevari’ s class expressed that this experience has given her a taste to possibly pursue a field in Engineering; that is Mechanical Engineering!

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