Car Boats

You might remember last year’s Car Boat Project – well, it was such a big hit and important learning experience for her students, that Jeanette Yee wanted to expand the Car Boat Project to two classes so more students would have the opportunity to participate this year.

The Plan: Grade Level Teachers will collaborate to teach the Electric Circuits unit and have students build their own air propelled Car Boat. Students will combine the joy and excitement of mechanical toys with science content, “Electric Circuits” by constructing an air propelled motor boat for their culminating project.

Students will use functional reading and apply science skills by building circuits and troubleshooting. Students will be engaged because they love to build science models and will have an opportunity to participate in a car boat time trials. Students will race their car twice and use their math skills by taking the average time between trials. We will then rank order the car boats based on their average.

Car BoatsThe Result: All our students were able to make their carboats and both grade level teachers collaborated on this science project. Students also took ownership of this project, helping each other, troubleshooting the problems and explaining to each other the reasons.

This grant made a huge impact on our classes because without it, we would not be able to afford this project at all. This project allowed students the opportunity to apply science and math theory (electric circuits) into real life application. It taught them perseverance, creativity and cooperation. Our students were also excited to modify the design for speed once they got their circuits to work.

As a teacher, I was encouraged by the excitement that my female students had when making their carboats. At first, a bright female student was intimidated and wanted help immediately. I asked her to keep trying and she eventually figured it out on her own. She was so proud of her accomplishment and I was proud of her perserverance.

Student Quotes: “Can I glue both propeller together? I think it might make it run faster.” Great hypothesis! Why don’t you try it and then test it? Did it work? (Teacher) No. Why not? “I think it made it heavier so the car didn’t move.” ~ Andrew

“My favorite part of the year was when we made our carboats.” ~ Tre

“It was nice and wonderful. I liked the part when we put the circuits together and when we turned it on to see if it worked. I also liked the colors of the wheels. I was one of the first one to make my car and then I got to help others who were stuck.” ~ Peleveni

Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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