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Students in Connie Stone’s third grade class spent last week creating and racing their very own balloon cars.
This project was part of the class’s force and motion unit. The students started by pairing off into groups and researching the different models of balloon cars using their ChromeBooks. Through their research, they were able to determine what their car’s design and appearance, as well as learn types of tricks they could use to make the car increase speed and distance. Once their car model was decided, the students sketched out their design in their notebooks and gathered together the necessary supplies. Together with their partners, they worked together to use different materials to create a car that would be both fast and travel a long distance.
The students were able to test out their car’s speed and distance by racing their cars in the hallway next to their classroom. As they tested their car, they were able to experience trial and error as some students had cars that did not travel very far or go very fast. The students measured the distance, investigated the errors, constructed changes and then made a second attempt.
Through this activity, students were able to grasp the concept of Newton’s third law of motion in a hands-on application. They were able to reinforce the concepts of motion and force, as well as practice applying scientific ideas to design, construct and test an object’s design.