Lesson Plans

Solar Race Cars
Elizabeth F. O'Keefe
Whitfield Middle School
St. Louis, Missouri

Solar-powered cars, assembled by students, transform the school sidewalks into a mini racetrack. As cars zoom past a photogate attached to a laptop computer, the computer calculates the time that each car travels between specified points. Students can then calculate the speed of the car. Students add more solar cell batteries to the car wired in a series circuit, and measure speed. Solar Race Cars helps students answer the following questions about solar energy: Will the speed of the car increase proportionally with additional batteries? What happens when the cells are wired in parallel circuitry? Will season affect race car speed?

Download Solar Race Cars: solar.pdf
      Earth & Space Science
Elementary Level Solar Race Cars
Elementary Level At Issue: Light Pollution
Elementary Level Exploring the Beach
Elementary Level Community Cartography
Middle Level Meteor Monitor

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October 1, 1999   NSTA Home    Laptop Learning Challenge Home    Contact Us