Building an Electric Car in Grade 9 Science – Student Activity


The Focus on Inquiry:

This guided inquiry project was designed to provide students with the challenge of creating a fully-electric car.  The students were provided with a motor, photographs of sample electric cars, an outline of the criteria their car was to meet, and a rubric as a marking scheme.

The Inquiry Project:

The project was discussed and proposed at the beginning of the physics unit of study in grade 9 applied science. 

Students were tasked with completing three main components:

I.       A Thought Book

This is where the students formulated questions, made hypotheses, and made predictions about their project prior to beginning construction of their electric car.  The Thought Book took the form of pre-formatted Google Slides that the students shared with the teacher and the rest of their peers.  The students completed different ‘pages’ of the Thought Book as they progressed through different stages of the inquiry project.  They also used the Though Book to gather, organize and record information during their ‘build days’.

II.     A schematic of their circuit

This is where the students communicated their understanding of how electricity moves through their circuit.  Students were asked to communicate their results in appropriate key terms (ie. source, load, conductor, insulator, switch).

III.    Reflection questions

These questions were designed to have students reflect on their learning, analyze their outcomes, describe their challenges and how they surmounted them.

This activity is part of STAO’s Connex series.  For more details about this activity, including all you need to use it in your classroom go to the STAO Connex page…


Lab Glassware Care -Flinn Scientific Canada

Lab Glassware Care

Basic Tips for Safety & Savings

Glassware used in research and teaching laboratories is often designed for specific functions. However, the intricate and delicate designs can render glassware easily breakable, reducing durability.  For this reason, it’s important that you handle glassware carefully, use it for its intended purpose and inspect glassware for flaws. To prolong the life of your glassware and ensure safety during use, it pays to be aware of three key factors: cleanliness, scratches, and temperature.

Keep it Clean — Good lab technique requires clean glassware.

Note: Be cognizant of leftover chemical residue in your glassware.  Water-reactive substances must never come in contact with water.

  • Make sure glassware is empty of chemical to its fullest extent and wash as quickly as possible after use. The sooner it is washed, the easier it is to clean. If dirty glassware is not cleaned promptly, built-up chemical residue may be impossible to clean later and may even pose a hazardous situation.
  • If immediate cleaning is not possible, soak the glassware in water.
  • Use a mild detergent and hot water.
  • Grease is best removed in a weak (10% or less) solution of sodium carbonate. Acetone may be used, but take all precautions.
  • Additional cleaning suggestions>>

No Scratching — Glass that is scratched is more likely to crack. Don’t use it!

  • Metal or glass stirring rods may scratch glass, so use a rubber policeman on the end of your stirring rod or use a plastic stirring rod.
  • Avoid using any worn brushes where metal can scratch the glass.
  • Use coated or cushioned clamps.

Temperature Tactics — Improper heating and cooling stresses glass.

  • Avoid placing hot glass on a cold surface or vice versa.
  • When heating beakers with a burner, always use wire gauze with a ceramic center.
  • Never heat a glass vessel to dryness over an open flame.
  • Do not heat glassware directly on electrical heating elements. Use a hot water bath, oil bath, or heating mantel.

If you have any questions about how to care for laboratory glassware, please contact us. We’d be happy to help.