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Workshop Syllabus

Workshop: Fun Physics – Engineering

Length of workshop: 1 day

Overview:

Participants will:

Session 1

Designing DIY Toy Cars

WHAT: Designing and decorating DIY toy cars (motorised or elastic)

HOW:

  • Cutting out and decorating car chassis with paper, pens, glitter etc.
  • Encourage students to consider small alterations to body shape of the car
  • Could have different sizes from the template (not bigger than the original otherwise wheels won’t hold weight)

WHAT’S HAPPENING

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • Glitter
  • Paper
  • Glue

Head Coach:

  • facilitate students in the design process
  • Younger students may need help with cutting out the body template from cardboard

Coach:

  • to assist with
    assignment and
    organisation of
    materials as well as
    management of
    students
  • facilitate students in the design process
  • Younger students may need help with cutting out the body template from cardboard

Stars for the best decorated
Encourage students to present their designs to the group, communicating heir design choices etc

Junior students may need help with cutting out the body template from cardboard (could be done before to save time)

Session 2

Building Toy Car – Elastic

Refer to Handout HERE

Refer to Activity card HERE

WHAT:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Elastic bands (must have some that are stretchy enough to provide force to propel car without snapping. Could get a selection so students can investigate how they affect the velocity of cars)
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Weight (screw/battery)
  • Glue guns with glue
  • Bottle tops with holes
  • Black duct tape (to reduce friction on tyres)

DEMONSTRATION

  1. Glue popsicle sticks together into a V shape using the glue gun
  2. Add a small piece of cocktail stick to the front of the V shape and fix in place
  3. Make axle with wheels; make hole in bottle top and feed cocktail stick through. Attach with glue gun. Place straw over cocktail stick and glue second wheel in place using glue gun. Add extra glue to secure
  4. Glue wheels and axle onto car body
  5. Add a small piece of cocktail stick to the back axel and fix in place
  6. Place elastic band over the front cocktail stick and wind round the back increasing the tension
  7. Release and watch your car move!

WHAT’S HAPPENING
When the elastic band is wound back around the back axle tension is created. When you
release the car this elastic potential energy will be transferred as kinetic (movement) energy and the force will push the car forward. The more you wind the elastic the farther the car will move (be careful you don’t want to snap the rubber band)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xhEXDrMMLg

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Elastic bands (must have some that are stretchy enough to provide force to propel car without snapping. Could get a selection so students can investigate how they affect the velocity of cars)
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Weight (screw/battery)
  • Glue guns with glue
  • Bottle tops with holes
  • Black duct tape (to reduce friction on tyres)

Head Coach:

  • to demo activity

Coach:

  • to assist with
    assignment and
    organisation of
    materials as well as
    management of
    students

Students have engineered their own DIY toy car to race against one another in a series of challenges!

Building Toy Car – Motorised

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAfrgjmN7Ms&t=152s

WHAT:

  • Glue guns with glue
  • Bottle tops (with holes in by a drill or a sharp screwdriver)
  • Wooden cocktail sticks
  • Stiff cardboard for the body of the car
  • Straws
  • DC Motors, batteries and switch sets
  • Black duct tape (to reduce friction on tyres)
  • Sharp scissors to cut cardboard (adults will need to do this for juniors, could be done
    beforehand to save time)
  • A4 paper to decorate car body
    Colourful liner/marker pens

DEMONSTRATION

1. Cut out car body (chassis) and decorate
2. Make axle with wheels; make hole in bottle top and feed cocktail stick through. Attach
with glue gun. Place straw over cocktail stick and glue second wheel in place using glue
gun. Add extra glue to secure
3. Glue wheels and axle onto car body
4. Glue motor, battery and switch (may need to use soldering iron to create circuit) onto car
5. Attach plastic propeller to motor and race your cars!

WHATS HAPPENING

The battery will generate an electrical current to the motor which in turn will cause the propeller to rotate pushing the car forward. Due to the simplicity of the car, students will not be able to steer them so make sure that there is a wide enough space for the cars to ‘race’. Students can alter the dimensions of the car body to see if it will make it more aerodynamic and this race faster

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAfrgjmN7Ms&t=152s

  • Glue guns with glue
  • Bottle tops (with holes in by a drill or a sharp screwdriver)
  • Wooden cocktail sticks
  • Stiff cardboard for the body of the car
  • Straws
  • DC Motors, batteries and switch sets
  • Black duct tape (to reduce friction on tyres)
  • Sharp scissors to cut cardboard (adults will need to do this for juniors, could be done
    beforehand to save time)
  • A4 paper to decorate car body
    Colourful liner/marker pens

Head Coach:

  • to demo activity

Coach:

  • to assist with
    assignment and
    organisation of
    materials as well as
    management of
    students

to be added

Car Race

WHAT: Race cars and take part in the challenges

WHAT’S HAPPENING
Students race against one another in a series of challenges!

Test their cars abilities against others, compare designs and features.

Students to use the toy car they have built in earlier session

Head Coach:

  • Set up races between individual or teams of students
  • encourage involvement
  • supervise races

Coach:

  • to assist with management of
    students

TIP!
Be careful with motorised cars they can’t be controlled so make sure space is big enough for them to move
StarTime tape could be used to make tracks (cars will only go in one direction)

EXTENSION:
Students can use iPads to record stunts or make a movie about their cars

Session 3

Marshmallow Challenge – engineering task

WHAT:

Students complete marshmallow challenge and try and ‘engineer’ the biggest marshmallow and spaghetti tower using their pack and in a given time

HOW

  • Students to get into groups to introduce element of team building and competition
  • Provide each group with resources and rules

RULES:

  • Your challenge is to build the tallest freestanding structure using ONLY the above listed materials.
  • The winning team is the one that builds the tallest freestanding structure measured from the table top surface to the top of the marshmallow.
  • The team’s structure must stand on its own for measuring. Teams touching or supporting their
    structure will be disqualified.
  • Teams can use as much or as little of the 20 sticks of spaghetti, tape, and string provided. Extra materials CANNOT be provided.
  • The entire marshmallow must be on the top of your structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow will disqualify your team.

WHY:

Develops skills in critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, and communication

WHAT YOU NEED (per group)

  • 20 sticks of spaghetti
  • 1 yard of tape
  • 1 yard of string
  • 1 large marshmallow
  • scissors (to cut materials)
  • yard stick (to measure)

Head Coach:

  • time students for 10 mins and help them whilst timer is on

Coach:

  • to assist with
    assignment and
    organisation of
    materials as well as
    management of
    students

Students may present designs to the group

Popsicle Engineering Challenge

WHAT:

Popsicle and peg engineering challenges; a series of challenges where students work independently and as a team to design models that fulfil certain criteria

DEMONSTRATION:

  1. Get students to design and create structures out of the materials
  2. Scaffold this activity by giving students certain challenges like the ones below.
    Then encourage students to explain and communicate their design choices to the
    rest of the group
    a. CHALLENGE #1 Build a structure to support the most weight (could use
    chairs for support to hang bridges from)
    b. CHALLENGE #2 build the tallest structure
    c. CHALLENGE #3 build the tallest structure with fewest clothes pegs/clips or popsicle sticks
    d. CHALLENGE #4 build structures that include triangles
    e. CHALLENGE #5 build a domino chain
    f. CHALLENGE #6 challenge cards (see below)
  3. Build popsicle bombs, stars/points can be awarded for those that go the furthest. Coaches could use StarTime tape to create a ‘battlefield experience’ and competing teams have to get as many popsicle sticks in the other teams half in a certain time period.

EXAMPLE: Join yellow and green in a V shape with the yellow on top. Place red on top of both and slide orange under and through (with fingers . Works best on a spongy carpet surface. The best way to learn how to do these will be to watch the youtube video;
https://www.youtube.com/watchv=GQyGDKklVPU&feature=youtu.be

WHY:

Develops skills in critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, and communication

https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/popsicle-stick-catapult-kids-stem-activity/?jwsource=cl

WHAT YOU NEED (per group)

  • 10 Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
  • Rubber Bands
  • Firing Power (marshmallows, pompoms, pencil top erasers)
  • Plastic Spoon (optional)
  • Bottle Cap
  • Sticky tape/blue tac (to secure bottle top to stick)

Head Coach & Coach:

  • Coaches to facilitate popsicle challenges; look at the picture sheets for inspiration and try to encourage students to come up with their own designs rather than simply showing them

  • Coaches keep reminding students of the ‘criteria’ they need to fulfil in their models e.g. triangles

EXTENSION:

  • build popsicle catapults, use plastic cups for targets. Different cups could be worth different points
  • popsicle catapult (activity from Fun Physics 1) can use plastic cups to make targets and encourage
  • Students can record the ‘popsicle bombs’ on iPad and potentially make movie

Extension

Paper Plate Marble Maze

WHAT:

Students make their own maze or marble run using glue guns, straws, paper and plastic plates and swap having a go at one another’s

DEMONSTRATION

1. Get students to design and create a maze/marble run using the pictures for inspiration.
2. Students could create ‘wrong’ routes where the marbles shouldn’t go
3. Students could swap and compete with each other trying to complete the maze in the
shortest amount of time

WHATS HAPPENING

Students need to think critically and creatively to construct a maze that will both challenge and entertain their fellow peers.
To add an element of challenge you could give groups different criteria for example encourage them to design a maze for example:
“ You must design a maze that fulfils the following criteria; be aimed for children ages 4­5,
include bright colours, have a points system and a clear end point. This maze should help younger students improve their fine motor skills”
Encourage students to present their designs to the rest of the group in line with StarTime values.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAfrgjmN7Ms&t=152s

WHAT:

  • Paper or plastic plates
  • Glue or sticky tape
  • Paper
  • Texters
  • Marbles
  • Optional; pipe cleaners, other craft stuff

Head Coach:

  • to demo activity

Coach:

  • to assist with
    assignment and
    organisation of
    materials as well as
    management of
    students

EXTENSION:

  • Present videos of designs from throughout the day
  • Coaches set criteria for older students increase challenge; see experiment card for inspiration
  • Maze Challenge! Try one another’s maze