Mr. J is in the 3rd grade and recently came home with a letter that he needed to build a toy. Their science unit right now is on forces, and they were instructed to build a working toy.
When I asked what he wanted to build, he immediately said a car. We brainstormed some ideas, and listed the materials that he would need for the project.
His first list was a box, some water bottles, glue and plastic lids. He quickly realized that he needed something to hold the wheels on. When hubby got home they raided his workshop and found some copper pipe that would work.
He measured everything and then they got to work building the car. They tested the plastic bottle caps, but found that they didn't work with the copper pipe. They did some more brainstorming to see what items he thought would work for wheels. A lightbulb moment had him deciding that CD's would work.
He ran upstairs and found 4 CD's; he chose to paint the box orange, and when the paint dried he pushed the pipe through the box and attached the wheels. They would not stay alone, and with some searching through the workshop he found some nuts that would help keep them in place.
He discovered that his car works by using muscular force to get the motion started - and he is super excited to present it to his class this week! Some of the other kids made boats and mazes that use magnetic force.