STEM - Rocket Cars & Land-Yachts

STEM in Practice - Middle School

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities provide students with engaging opportunities to discover new skills and interests. Year 7 Design Technology students designed, built and tested CO2 powered cars. Building the CO2 cars enabled students to explore aerodynamics as well as friction, inertia and mass. It also gave students opportunities to learn a range of practical workshop skills.

Students were asked to reflect on their experience in design technology. Here’s what one student had to say:

“The best thing about the subject was that this task fostered innovation and creativity that we don't usually get to use in other subjects. I believe it will not only help us in English, maths and science, but that in this developing world it will also help us [develop] designing skills that are used everywhere and anywhere in the future. What also was awesome was having the freedom to design our cars, test our cars and use the equipment in the D.T. room.”

Year 4 Students Put Science Learning into Practice

In Semester 1 Science, Year 4 students investigated the properties of different materials and the different physical forces acting in the world. The students were given a ‘design challenge’ as a way of applying their knowledge in a real-world activity.

Working collaboratively, the students applied their knowledge (and creativity) to design a land-yacht using recycled materials that could move 2 metres in the fastest time when placed in front of a fan. The students generated and communicated ideas, selected appropriate materials based on their properties, defined a series of steps to make their product, and developed skills in collaboration and teamwork,

The students (and teachers) enthusiastically took up the challenge. Noah W and Christian B designed and built the winning land-yacht, covering the distance in 2.33 seconds.