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…

 

How Fuses Work

Students use electrical devices every day. An essential safety component of any electrical device is the fuse. Demonstrate what it means to “blow a fuse” and show why fuses are important safeguards against electrical fires.  Courtesy of Flinn Scientific Canada.

How fuses work – Click here to download 

Nikola Tesla: AC Powerhouse

tesla

The Hamilton Ontario – Tesla “Connection” 

Did you know that the city of Hamilton was the 1st major city in Canada to have AC electrical power? Current flowed for the first time on August 25, 1898. All thanks to Nikola Tesla. Pretty cool, right?

The Nikola Tesla Education Corporation

The goal of this organization is to spread the knowledge about Nikola Tesla’s work to the public through various mediums, so that our youth can learn about the inventions and the body of knowledge he has left behind.  Click here to find out more…..

50 000 Volts! 

And for dessert, click on this Steve Spangler video for a cool Tesla Coil Experimenttestla
Special thanks to Jelena of the STAO Secondary Committee for these electrifying thoughts on one of the most important inventors in recent history.

The Characteristics of Electricity/Electrical Applications – Demo

circuitIn this demo, two circuits are constructed to enable comparison of the brightness of a light bulb placed in a circuit with one cell and the brightness of the same light bulb in a circuit with three cells connected in parallel. In Next Steps the potential differences of the two circuits are also compared.

Click here to download the complete demo…..