Physical Science
Lab 3 - Motorized Super Car

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Implementing VEX GO STEM Labs

STEM Labs are designed to be the online teacher’s manual for VEX GO. Like a printed teacher’s manual, the teacher-facing content of the STEM Labs provides all of the resources, materials, and information needed to be able to plan, teach, and assess with VEX GO. The Lab Image Slideshows are the student-facing companion to this material. For more detailed information about how to implement a STEM Lab in your classroom, see the Implementing VEX GO STEM Labs article.

Goals and Standards

Goals

Students will apply

• Changing gear size and configuration of the Motorized Super Car to affect the speed output.

Students will make meaning of

• The addition of a motor affects the movement of the Motorized Super Car in comparison to Unpowered Super Car builds.
• How to articulate the purpose of an investigation.
• How to gather data, recognize patterns, and make predictions.
• Gear size and configuration affect how the Motorized Super Car moves.

Students will be skilled at

• How to configure the gears of the Motorized Super Car to increase speed.

Students will know

• Force from the energy in a rubber band and a motor are different.
• Force from the energy in a motor allows the car to move a faster and more predictable speed.
• How to select the best gear arrangement to increase speed.

Objective(s)

Objective

1. Understand how the addition of a motor affects the movement of the Motorized Super Car.
2. Recognize how energy can be changed into a force from the battery to a motor, and then transferred to the wheels.
3. Demonstrate with 3 different gear configurations how gear size and arrangement affects speed and distance.

Activity

1. Students will work with their team to build and run their Motorized Super Car.  They will record the speed of the car over the course of several test runs. They will compare the car’s speed to past test trials of the Super Car build in Lab 2.
2. Students will examine the motor-to-axle-to-wheel mechanisms. Through guided inquiry, they will recognize that the motor is turning energy into force, and transferring this force to the wheels through axles and gears.
3. Students will change the configuration of the car’s outside gears and observe how these changes affect the speed of the car and document these effects in a Data Collection Sheet (3 gear configurations: big-little, little- big, same size pair).

Assessment

1. In team and class discussions, students will recall that the speed of the Motorized Super Car is more predictable than the previous Super Car build.
2. In whole class and team discussions, students will be able to describe how energy is transferred from the motor to the wheels in their Motorized Super Car.
3. Students will illustrate their understanding using their Data Collection Sheet and through class discussions.