"Sailing cart challenge" #83

In February we were asked by a type 9 (children with autism) secondary school to come up with a challenge after they had worked with the theme "On land, at sea, and in the air" in their STEAM classes. Therefore, we came up with a sailing cart challenge. Using only free or low-cost materials (cardboard, caps, corks, barbecue sticks, CDs, crêpe paper, ...), the students had to build a sailing cart that could drive as far as possible powered by the wind. Since the weather gods are hardly reliable, we used a fan as a source of constant airflow. The students were given an hour to build and test their car, after which a test race was held to see how far their car drove. They then got 20 minutes to adjust their car before the final race. The students found it a challenging assignment that they nonetheless completed successfully, since everyone succeeded in driving their car further during the competition than during the test run. The reactions of the students were also great, with quotes like: “When are we coming back to do this again?”, "Nice that everyone’s cars went further the second time." , and "I never knew this could be done with just glue, cardboard, tin foil and corks.”

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