Gravity Racersby: Dawn Renee Wilcox, Shannon Roberts, and David Wilcox

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With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games prominent in the media, children were exposed to images of athletes skiing down snow-covered slopes, coasting furiously on bobsleds, and skating gracefully across the ice. Therefore, the authors capitalized on their children’s natural curiosity about the world around them by exploring the concept of motion in a weeklong series of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities in which they design and build a gravity-powered car using the 5E learning cycle model.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:34 AM

The authors of this article have created a complicated but very useful lesson plan that includes all of STEM. The students study and experiment with forces, discuss them, record them and then go on to create a gravity racers. This was done in fourth grade but would be suitable to any grade above that. Even high school students would love it.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:41 AM

Students build and race a gravity car in this classroom during the Olympics. Students are exposed to a 5E model lesson that is appropriate for a STEM curriculum that involves science, engineering design and math. All stages of the 5E Learning Model are provided along with vocabulary match and NSTA connections and resources. This lesson is linked to the 5-8 Content Standards from NSES in Physical Science and Technology. Not only does this seem like a fun activity for kids but it also engages them in an understanding of forces and motion. All is provided for a teacher to adapt and use in their classroom.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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