Gears vs. Pulleys on Solar Cars (Lesson 1)
Students will design an investigation to test differences between solar vehicles. They will make claims based on backing evidence, without having directly tested their vehicles before this point. They will use background knowledge regarding pulleys and gears in order to begin the design process. Students will determine which specific design they will be moving forward with for the next lesson.
Students will design an investigation to test differences between solar vehicles. This is an excellent follow-up lesson to the solar boat activity or any other activity in which students have already experimented with other types of solar vehicles. However, it can additionally be implemented without having a previous vehicle-design activity as long as students have discussed energy fundamentals, forces, engineering design, and photovoltaics. In this specific lesson, they will make predictions based on their own understanding of engineering design and apply what they have learned previously to a challenge involving gears and pulleys on solar vehicles.