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Gravity Cruiser Design Challenge

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Describe the Activity: 

They will also investigate how the diameter of the wheels, the diameter of the axles, and the amount of weight placed on the lever affect the gravity cruiser's speed and distance. The interplay of these factors is not simple—it offers a rich challenge in critical thinking while at the same time providing an enjoyable "vehicle" for learning how to use the experimental method to test hypotheses and solve a tricky engineering problem. After learning how to control the performance of this toy through a series of controlled tests, student design teams create their own customized toys. The set of toys that students design will be presented at the end of the challenge.

Time Details: 

10 Lessons spread out over a couple months.

Cost Details: 

Kits ranging from $280 to $1530

People Details: 

Students participate as a class and can create their own designs as teams.

Outcome of the Activity: 
Offers a rich challenge in critical thinking while at the same time providing an enjoyable "vehicle" for learning how to use the experimental method to test hypotheses and solve a tricky engineering problem.
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