Home Schools Jr. Sr. High School From Small Engines to Energy, Power and Transportation

From Small Engines to Energy, Power and Transportation

With some of the new state standards coming out, “Small Engines” has now been changed to “Energy, Power and Transportation”. Students in this class have explored how a small gas internal combustion engine works to power everything from lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws, snow blowers and many other applications. Just recently students also did a unit on land transportation vehicles.
Students were broken up into groups of two or three students. Each group had to design, test and build a vehicle that used only the mousetrap as the power source. Students were to see how they could engineer and problem solve to make the vehicle go the farthest. Pictured here are Austin Novotny and Riley Stewart with the vehicle they made. They had a vehicle go almost the entire hallway using only the power of a standard Victor mousetrap.
It was interesting to see some of the designs the students made using materials such as CD’s for wheels, wood and plastics. Many had to rework their vehicles to make them track better as well. It was fun to see them come together. Currently, we are now building hovercrafts using small DC motors and propellers. Students will explore how a vehicle can ride on a cushion of air both on water and on land. They again will problem solve and change their designs to make their vehicles better.