Does your child question everything he needs to do for school? Does he want to know how things work or why things happen? You may have a budding scientist on your hands. A kid filled with curiosity and always wondering how things work is a scientist in the making.
Well enter cars and speed then we have a wonderful activity for my son. We decided to test out different vehicle modifications to see if we could make his vehicle go faster.
Looking for more activities like this? Check out my list of the best STEM Activities for Kids!
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Recommended STEM Kits for Kids
Let your kids’ ages 8+ assemble this awesome radio-controlled car. Just follow the steps and your child will have a working toy car. The best thing about this is the fact that the car is solar-powered. There’s so much to discuss in this STEM activity and the kids will definitely learn a lot.
Another great choice when it comes to an engineering kit. Grab this wind-powered amphibious car for your little one who loves building things.
Recommended Car Science Books
If your child is curious about how cars work, you must grab these good books that will supply the information they needed. You never know, they may become an engineer or a car enthusiast in the future.
The Way Things Work NowWorld of Eric Carle, Turn, Crank, Zoom! A STEM Gear Sound Book – PI KidsCar Science: An Under-the-Hood, Behind-the-Dash Look at How Cars WorkJack’s Garage: Tire Maintenance for KidsCar (How It’s Built)HOW CAR ENGINE WORKS?
Speed Racer STEM Activity
We discussed how we wanted to set up our course, we needed a start and finish line because we wanted to start and stop the timer at the exact same spot.
For our car, my son had built one out of K’Nex pieces because it has a motor that we could wind up. I asked him how he was going to know how much he needed to wind up the car each time so he decided to add another piece of tape to the starting place where he’d pull back the car from.
He used the stopwatch on my phone to time his car. I asked him how we knew we would have the right time. As in sometimes, perhaps you were a bit late to start or stop the timer. And he decided that he wanted to test it out three times to see which one had the fastest time.
We used the printable to record our times and then I showed him how to calculate the average with a calculator since we haven’t covered long division with decimals yet.
I then asked him to change one thing. We talked about variables and how we did tests by changing one thing so we could find the best way to create the fastest car. So we changed the wheels and used bigger wheels the first time.
If you love this activity, you must try this Catapult STEM Activity with Popsicle Sticks, too!
After we found the best wheels, he decided to change how long the vehicle was, the rods that held the wheels were shortened and he found that made it even faster.
The images are of my daughter since he seemed to be camera shy but she had fun racing his car. They then decided to build a bridge over the finish line to see if they could aim the car in there.
When the bridge was only one rod long, it was too small for his sister to get the car through the bridge so he widened it for her.
Recommended STEM Books for Kids
For more activities and interesting STEM facts, you must get these awesome STEM books! You’ll never run out of ideas!
STEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for KidsThe Curious Kid’s Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids: 50+ Exciting STEAM Projects to Design and Build (Awesome STEAM Activities for Kids)Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids: 40 Fun Science Projects and Why They Work (Awesome STEAM Activities for Kids)Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids: 50 STEAM Projects You Can Eat! (Awesome STEAM Activities for Kids)100 Easy STEAM Activities: Awesome Hands-On Projects for Aspiring Artists and Engineers
Recommended Speed Racer STEM Activity Supplies
Time to get your own STEM kit! Now your kids will have a chance to try this fun activity, too!
Want to test your own vehicle? Get the free car testing printable to create your own experiments and test new modifications.
The printable includes one page to test 2 variables and then 3. There’s a place to put in the time for the 3 trials and then to calculate the average to see which one is fastest.
Download the Car Racing Test Printable below
Take a look at the other posts in the 28 days of STEAM series.
More STEM Activities
No-Prep STEM Activities that Kids LOVE by STEAMsational