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Super Car
Lab 2 - How Does it Go?

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Launch the Engage Section

ACTS is what the teacher will do and ASKS is how the teacher will facilitate.

  1. Present a hair tie or scrunchie to the class, and demonstrate how it is similar to a rubber band (stretching it, etc.).
  2. Using very little force, pull back on one side of the hair tie and “shoot” it forward (the goal is that it falls close by and barely travels).
  3. This time, repeat the process, but pull back harder on the hair tie (using much more energy) to make it fly significantly farther.
  4. Point out that pulling back on the hair tie just a little or a lot is different amounts of energy being put into the hair tie. The differing amounts of energy is called a variable.
  5. Make a connection between the hair tie, energy, and the Super Car.

If time allows, repeat the process using a third level of force, to enable students’ to have further observation of the energy transfer.

  1. What do you think would happen if I were to pull on one end and then let go?
  2. Is that what you expected would happen? Why didn’t it go further?
  3. What changed to make it travel so differently?
  4. A variable is something that can change. When we pull the hair tie, since we can pull it back harder or softer, the amount of force we pull the hair tie with is a variable.
  5. You have rubber bands in the Super Car, just like the one inside this hair tie. It holds the energy to make the car move. The rubber band on the Super Car can be turned using the Orange Knob.

Getting the Students Ready to Build

We will now use the Super Car to explore how different variables, such as how many times the rubber band is turned with the Orange Knob, affect the Super Car’s movement!

Facilitate the Build

  1. InstructInstruct students to join their groups, and have them complete the Robotics Roles & Routines sheet. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab Image Slideshow as a guide for students to complete this sheet. Students should build the Super Car if they have not done so already.
    super car build
    Super Car Build
  2. DistributeDistribute five variable materials per group for students to use. These materials should affect the movement of the Super Car in some way. They can include carpet pieces, tiles, tape, different rubber bands, sandpaper, or ramps. Also distribute one timer per group to measure the time it takes the Super Car to travel a distance.
  3. FacilitateFacilitate as students investigate the materials and ensure that there is equal distribution (5 each) between groups.
    1. Explain that the materials are to be used in designing an experiment to make their Super Cars travel different distances.
    2. They will change 3 variables, and run 2 trials for each, measuring and charting the distances traveled by the car as well as the time it took the car to travel that distance.
  4. OfferOffer suggestions and note positive team building and problem solving strategies when they have the materials at the tables.
A VEX GO character

Teacher Troubleshooting

Facilitation Strategies

  • If teams are having trouble coming to a decision together, offer one of these collaborative decision making strategies:
    • Voting: take a simple poll, and the majority wins. If there is a tie, the teacher can be a tie breaker
    • Turn taking: test both ideas, but in two separate experiments. Try to combine the ideas in the third.
    • Random decision making: flip a coin, or pull an idea out of a hat, and work with whatever comes up.