Activity Title: Wind Power Car Lab
• Age: 12-14
• Grade: Middle School Grade 8
• Developmental Stage: Early Adolescent
Steps of activity:
1. Review Objective: Students will be able to design and build a “wind-powered vehicle” by working in small groups.
2. Teacher will show four videos and students will watch and write down their thoughts “Can it really be done?” for each video
a. Video 1: Lego wind powered car
b. Video 2: Wind Turbine Powered Car Test
c. Video 3: Ecotricity’s wind-powered sports car
d. Video 4: Kinetic Sculpture
3. Students will share out reflections in a class discussion about the videos.
4. Ask students to draw a draft design of a wind powered vehicle that illustrates what they believe a well-designed vehicle would look like.
5. Split students up into groups of 3
6. Ask for students to share their designs with their group.
7. Collectively as a group, students will Design and build a “wind-powered vehicle” that incorporates their personal designs of a wind powered car using only the materials provided:
a. (2) index cards
b. (4) straws
c. (2) paper clips
d. (4) Dixie cups
e. 2′ of scotch tape
8. Students must follow rules given by teacher:
a. Must use ALL materials – even scraps and “leftovers”
b. Create a cool name for the car with a team emblem/logo
c. All cars will be powered by the same wind source (hair dryer; low setting; low heat)
d. Cars must travel designated distance without falling off the edges of the table
e. Each group member will have 1 trial run
This activity will improve students social and emotional development by allowing students to interact with peers and share personal opinions and viewpoint collectively. In this activity students will engage in academic debate to come up with one group design while learning to be sensitive to other peers’ opinions. It gives students the gateway of peer-to-peer positive interactions. This activity will also encourage cognitive skills by challenging students to create one collective design for a wind-powered car through critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This assignment will also increase my student’s moral development by setting clear rules and expectations that each group member will be responsible for upholding their group members too.