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Physical Science
Lab 2 - Super Car

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Part 1 - Step by Step

  1. InstructInstruct each group to set up a “test drive” space in the room. Include a starting line, and attach the measuring tape to the table in a straight, flat line for measuring distance.
    Use a measuring tape to measure the distance
  2. ModelModel how to complete a test trial and record the results by using a group’s setup.
    • Run a ‘practice trial’ for the class, and complete a sample row of the Data Collection Sheet. 
    • Turn the Super Car’s Orange Knob at the starting line, counting aloud as you do.
      VEX GO Super Car Crank
      VEX GO Super Car Turn
    • Then, let it go and mark the distance traveled when it comes to rest.
    • Complete a sample data row by asking students for each entry (which trial number, number of turns, and distance traveled).
    • Ask if there are any questions before moving forward.
  3. FacilitateFacilitate as each group completes at least 5 trials of the Super Car, with the journalists recording data on the Data Collection Sheet. Students should take turns setting up the car and winding it.
    Data Collection Sheet
    Data Collection Sheet

  4. RemindRemind teams to experiment with the number of turns they use to wind the car. Students should be conducting at least 5 trials total.
  5. AskAsk students to make predictions about how far their car will travel on the next trial as you move around the room, noting progress and successful teamwork strategies.

Optional: If students are unable to answer a question in the moment, encourage them to write down their questions to keep track of them, and ask at the Mid-Play Break.

Mid-Play Break & Group Discussion

As soon as every group has completed at least 5 trials, come together for a brief conversation.

  • What questions did your group have as you were test driving your Super Car?
  • Ask the groups to share their results from their 5 trials. 
    • Groups should share their longest and shortest runs, and what they attribute those results to.
  • Did your car go farther than others? Why or why not? How many turns did you decide are best to use? 

Part 2 - Step by Step

  1. Instruct Instruct each group to bring their car to a central space for the whole class “Test Drive Event”. Use a group's test drive area if space allows, or create a central space in the room.
  2. Model Model for students how to use a prediction chart, and how the "Test Drive Event" will work. Create a prediction chart on the board. Have each group declare how many turns they will use and how far they predict the car will go before the group race. An example of a prediction chart could be a table, showing what the student thinks will happen and what actually happened.
    Sample Prediction Chart
    Sample Prediction Chart

    Model for students how to prepare for the "Test Drive Event".

    1. Groups will compete in "heats" or rounds.
    2. Anywhere from 2-4 groups can enter their Super Cars in each "heat" (depending on space).
    3. Winners of each heat move to the next heat until a final winner is declared.
    4. Optional: The class can use their Data Collection Sheet to track the winners, predictions and results, alongside a central chart on the board.
      2-4 groups can enter their Super Cars in each heat
  3. Facilitate Facilitate the Test Drive Event.
    1. Ask students to assess the relationship between the team’s predictions and the performance of the Super Cars.
    2. Which teams were able to predict most accurately?
  4. Remind Remind groups to use the data they collected previously to predict how far their Super Cars will go.
  5. AskAsk students about how their predictions are changing as they watch more heats. Do they feel that they are getting more or less accurate? Why?