The “Air Driven Cars” project aims for our students to create a vehicle with a STEM organization through design-oriented activities. The main theme is to make vehicles with different designs due to the depletion of natural resources day by day. Work on this project was carried out between April 15 and April 29. It is a matter of designing a vehicle that can produce its own energy using natural resources.
Ages of students: 9-10
Teaching time: 9 hours
Online teaching materials: YouTube, Learning Apps, ChatterPix, Scratch.
Materials: Materials may vary according to the student’s design. However, care is taken to use recycled materials. Balloon, scissors, glue, colored paper, plastic bottle, drinking straw, bottle cap, wooden stick can be used.
Project-based learning (PBL) and STEM techniques are used.
At the end of the learning scenario, students will be able to:
- Design vehicles that can provide its own energy, benefit from the power of nature, reduce labor and produce less cost.
- Develop students’ creativity and thinking skills.
- Increase entrepreneurial skills as new ideas and designs emerge.
- Measure in centimeters and millimeters, which are standard length measurement units.
- Solve problems related to calculating the perimeter of shapes.
- Use web2 tools.
- Make inventions according to the needs of their environment.
The teacher draws the attention of the students by entering the class with as many balloons as the number of students in the class. She distributes all the balloons to the children.
“What is inside the balloon?”, “What is the importance of the air in the balloon for living things? “, “Can we use air for other things?” she asks.
She then unties the balloon in her hand and empties the air, allowing the balloon to fly in the classroom. Asks the students, “What moves the balloon forward?”. Thus, the attention is drawn to the subject by brainstorming.
Students are shown a cartoon movie about the subject.
Videos of air-powered tools are watched.
Students are told that air, which is of great importance for the life of all living things in nature, can be used as a much greater power when compressed, and useful things can be done to facilitate human life.
A story is read to the students.
DOES THE CAR GO?
On a hot summer day, Mete was playing with his toys at home. He was driving in the car park and shouting “Dut… dutt…”. Then he lined up the colorful cars and looked at them lovingly. He thought that one day he would have a car like this too. He was going to have a red car with big wheels that never ran out of gas.
Then he put his toys aside and sat by the window and looked out. He saw how the sudden wind blows the plastic bag that fell on the road.. ‘Wow .. it’s going well’, he said. While he was looking at the plastic bag that disappeared among the trees, he was imagining his car. He whispered that his car will fly like this, too. Then he looked at the clock on the wall and thought it was more time before his father arrived. Every day, he eagerly was waiting for his father to come home from work and explain how cars worked. During this excited waiting, he fell asleep on the edge of the sofa in front of the window.
In his dream, he found himself in a place with many cars. He saw the red car he always wanted to have and ran towards it. He got in the car, turned the key, but could not start it. Then he looked at other cars. They weren’t working, either. He went to the place where the people were, and asked why the cars were not running. People said that now all the oil fields in the world have dried up and all the resources to keep cars running are gone. Mete was very, very upset when he heard that the cars were no longer working. He was awakened by the sound of the horn outside. He was very happy when he realized that what he saw was a dream. It was only after this dream that he began to think about how to run a car without petroleum fuels.
And suddenly he thought of the plastic bag blowing in the wind…
Students are asked questions about the story.
- Children, can we help Mete?
- Well children, if the air has such a power, can we use this power to make a means of transportation?
- Can we design a vehicle that does not harm nature and does not pollute the air?
After the students’ ideas are taken, the following videos are watched.
The teacher gives brief information about the subject of “force and motion” to the students.
Force: The effect we apply to move an object, change its direction, stop, slow down or accelerate is called force.
The force provides us with great convenience. It allows us to do many things we want to do.
– Allows us to move fixed objects.
– It allows us to stop the moving object.
– We can slow down or speed up different moving objects.
– We can also change the direction of moving objects.
– We can also change the shape of objects with force.
Then she makes a statement about gas substances. The spaces between the particles of matter are much larger than liquid and solid substances. Vapor, air in a flying balloon, air hitting your face when you shake the fan are examples of gaseous substances. She uses the learningapps web2 tool, plays games about force and movement. Children learn by having fun.
By showing the picture above, how can we apply a method, so that the car we are going to design can move in the direction of motion using air?
What can we use to make our car?
What can we use to move the car?
With the questions asked, the students are provided to reach the design they will create.
It has been concluded that the vehicle can move with rapid air output.
The design begins.
The teacher divides the students into groups. Attention is paid to the use of recyclable materials in the activities to be held. Materials such as pet bottles, pipette, 4 caps, balloons and glue are given to children.
Children, divided into groups, are asked to design a vehicle that can move with the thrust of the air according to the following criteria.
- Your vehicle will be move entirely by the power of air.
- Mobility will not be restricted.
- Its wheels will be able to move a certain distance smoothly.
- Care will be taken to that the distance between the wheels is equal.
- Joint work will be done.
Each group makes designs for their tools. The teacher helps them in this process by guiding them when necessary. Students are first asked to draw their designs on paper.
Students begin to build a prototype of their work. Hold the pet bottle from sideways. To make a car, while paying attention to the equal spacing of the wheels, the bottom of the bottle and the middle of the bottle are marked. The marked areas and the covers to be used for wheel construction are drilled with the support of the teacher.
Measured and cut evenly, fine straws are passed through the opening in the sides of the bottle and through the straw, by attaching a cap to the ends of the garbage skewers. The cover is fixed on the other end and the wheels are prepared. Then 2 thick straws are fixed together and one end is inserted into the balloon, tied tightly and fixed, so that the air does not escape.
The center point of the plastic bottle is measured again and fixed to the top. The part to be inflated remains in the air.
The balloon on the vehicle is inflated by blowing air from the pipette. The other end of the pipette is clogged to prevent air leakage. The vehicles will move when the clogged end of the pipette is opened and placed on the ground. Then the students calculate how long the vehicle they designed moves, and how far the vehicle has traveled in a given time period.
Then, the designs prepared by the students are voiced with the Chatterpix web2 tool and they are provided to explain the features of the vehicles.
In the next lesson, an online chat with an automotive engineer is made and the real-life cost, material and price research of the prototype he prepared is researched and the table is filled. Thus, the student has an idea about whether the prototype he/she has prepared can be applied in real life.
In coding with Scratch, students are provided to design a car racing game that earns points by catching air using code blocks. The game designed with the students under the guidance of the teacher is played in the classroom.
A graph is created for peer assessment and self-assessment, an evaluation template (it will include the measurement, the drawing of the observation result and the evaluation graph), and a self-evaluation form (the children’s learning before and after the activity is evaluated with a comparative table).
Kısmet TÜRKAN KURNAZ- Akören Primary School – Afyon -Turkey
“Scientix Ambassador”- “STEM Teacher”