Pupils work in teams of three to build a prototype Fan-Powered Car to a fixed design. They test the prototype to establish a benchmark performance and are then given access to different components to try to improve the performance of their cars.
Throughout the session, teams are encouraged to take multiple readings of their cars performance and averge results. They are also encouraged to think about what constitutes a fair test in this context.
And it all ends in a race off!
To run the workshop we need access to a space large enough to accommodate all of the participants for the introduction at the start of the workshop.
We will then need a space or spaces suitable for the number of participants to undertake a practical activity. For larger groups we will usually split into a number of separate classrooms for the car construction.
For racing we will need access to a large indoor space, such as a school hall or sports hall. Racing can be done outside if the weather is good and if you have a suitable flat, smooth space – smooth tarmac is fine.
The basic workshop starts with an introduction to the science behind the workshop. This may include demonstrations of some small alcohol-fuelled rockets and the Wonderstruck Hoverchair if you haven’t already had our Rocket Show as a starter activity. As both rockets and Fan-Powered Cars make use of Newton’s Third Law of Motion the Rocket Show makes a great introduction.
Teams then build their own Fan-Powered Cars and, once complete, test them and improve them. We then finish off with an exciting race off!
We also offer a full-day version of this workhop for upto 60 participants. Again, the workshop is team based and the morning is pretty much the basic version of the workshop. In the afternoon though teams are give complete freedom when it comes to building their cars. They can make them any size or shape they like but the catch is that they work to a budget.
This version of the workshop is also competitive and we finish off with a competition made up of team presentations, judging on design & build and, of course, an awesome race off!