Measure Mobile

Eli Whitney Museum

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For School Groups


Assemble and decorate the wheels, axles, chassis and driver of a wooden downhill racer. Then experiment. Measure the distance it travels from the end of its track. Change the pitch of the track and measure again. Change the weight of the car and measure again. An intro to numbers as the voice of science.

Meets Connecticut Science Standards

  • 1.4: The properties of materials and organisms can be described more accurately through the use of standard measuring units.

Meets Next Generation Science Standards

  • K-PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions K-PS2-1 Plan & conduct investigation to compare effects of different strengths or directions of pushes and pulls on motion of an object. K-PS2-2 Analyze data to determine if design solution works to change speed or direction of object with push or pull. PS2.A Forces and Motion PS2.B Types of Interactions PS3.C Relationship Between Energy and Forces

For Families

We are accustomed to teaching with a model in front of a child, but these instructions should make it so that anyone can build one without our presence. We urge that parents and teachers be there to guide – but to allow the child to try to let the materials (and a picture of the final product) guide them. A wrong direction is always un-doable until you've glued something.

The Parts. We use Wood Glue but White glue is fine too.

Step 1. Find the bottom piece of the car. Make sure the side with the round hole is facing up. Put some glue in the slots for the axles and a bit on the short dowels before you put them in the holes. Center the axles into the slots.

Step 2. Make sure the flat side of the upper part of the car is facing up. Put some glue at each end of that piece.

Step 3. Put the two pieces together. You will need to push the top piece down onto the dowels at the ends so that both pieces meet and the glue will hold it tightly together.

Step 4. Put the wheels on the axles. Use the black 0-rings to hold them onto the car. They must be able to spin freely. Put the steering wheel assembly (wheel glued onto a dowel) into the slot at either end of the car near the hole in the middle. That is for the Driver. Put the pipecleaner into the hole to create arms for the Driver. Now, Decorate your car and test, test, test. And Enjoy!



2020 MMobile parts w glue

2020 Step 1

2020 Step 2

2020 Step 3

2020 Step 4

Download Measure Mobile Worksheet.pdf (pdf, 29.6kb)

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