Retractor Car

With a little creativity, the potential energy stored in a common badge retractor can run a fun little vehicle. Take this idea and run with it!

Grades Covered: 2 through 12
Subjects Covered: Physical Science

Curriculum topics:
  • Motion
  • Momentum
  • Friction
  • Simple Machines
  • Springs
Standards
Idea Sheets are cross-referenced to subjects listed in the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and California Content Standards.
Show Standards
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National Standards

  • Generate & compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria & constraints of the problem.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Elementary /// Engineering Design)

  • Plan & carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled & failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Elementary /// Engineering Design)

  • Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Primary /// Engineering Design )

  • Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Engineering Design)

  • Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Engineering Design)

  • Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Engineering Design)

  • Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 3 /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions )

  • Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. [Examples: a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw.] "

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 3 /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions )

  • Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. [Examples : electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints: materials, cost, or design time.]

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Analyze data to support the claim that Newton's second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, & its acceleration. [Objects subject to a net unbalanced force, e.g., an object falling , rolling down a ramp, or a moving- pulled by a constant force.]

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions)

  • Design, build, & refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Physical Science /// Energy)

  • Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object & the mass of the object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions )

  • Construct & interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object & to the speed of an object. [Emphasis is on descriptive relationships between kinetic energy & mass separately from kinetic energy & speed.]

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Construct, use, & present arguments to support the claim that when the motion energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 2 /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 3 /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 5 /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • 1.b. An object's motion can be described by recording the change in its position over time.

    (CA Science /// Grade 2 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured.)

  • 1.c. The way to change how something is moving is to give it a push or a pull. The size of the change is related to the strength, or the amount of "force," of the push or pull.

    (CA Science /// Grade 2 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured.)

  • 1.d. Tools and machines are used to apply pushes and pulls (forces) to make things move.

    (CA Science /// Grade 2 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured.)

  • 5. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students will develop questions and perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 3 /// 04. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students will develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 4 /// 04. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students will develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 7 /// 07. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 9. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students should develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 9. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, & to address the content of the other strands, students should develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 9-12 /// 05. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 2. Forces

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences)

  • 4. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

    (CA Science /// Grade 2 /// 04. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Student will:

    (CA Science /// Grade 5 /// 04. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

    (CA Science /// Grade 6 /// 07. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 1. Motion

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences)


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