Second grade engineers continued their study of simple machines with a lab that focused on wheels and axles. Click here to learn more about wheels and axles. These physicists were challenged to construct a vehicle with wheels that could move freely on its axles. A variety of materials were available for wheels, axles, and chassis, as well as a variety of adhesive choices. Determining how to attach the wheels to the chassis was one of the design challenges. As they used the design process, they realized that some sort of hub caps were necessary to hold the wheels on the axles. At the end of the lab, some of the wheels did not touch the ground, some wheels were tilted, and others did not turn. I witnessed problem solving and collaboration as they worked to resolve these issues. In part two of this lab, we refined our designs after we tested our prototypes.
I further challenged these engineers to use a rubberband or a balloon to power their cars.