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Rev Up STEM Learning with Car Science Projects

Students can explore STEM concepts and design custom science and engineering projects with cars made from simple materials.

How to Build a Toy Car - Science Project

Creative Hands-on STEM with DIY Cars

When students experiment with homemade cars, they have the opportunity to explore physics and electronics, alternative energy and power, and engineering design. By changing design features and testing and comparing different models of DIY cars, students can ask and investigate countless STEM questions.

The video above helps students see the many kinds of questions that can be asked and some of the variables that can be changed in a car science project. Every car has four main parts: wheels, axles, chassis, and power source. Students can choose any of these features and develop a science or engineering project around it. For example, what happens when you use different materials for the wheels? How about different shapes?

Whether students are doing science projects following the scientific method or brainstorming, prototyping, and testing innovative solutions using the engineering design process, there are exciting STEM questions that can be put to a simulated road test.

Try One of These Car Science Projects!

Science Buddies has a number of hands-on projects for independent student exploration and Lesson Plans for teachers looking to lead classroom activities.

For car-themed projects, activities, and inspiration, see the following:

  1. Balloon-Powered Car Challenge (student project or lesson plan)
  2. Build a Solar-Powered Car (student project or lesson plan)
  3. Push Harder — Newton's Second Law (this lesson uses Google's Science Journal app for gathering real-time data)
  4. Build a Rubber Band-Powered Car
  5. Build a Wind-Powered Car
  6. Engineering Car Crash Safety with Newton's Third Law

Share Your Science Buddies Story!

Have you used a science project, STEM activity, or Lesson Plan from Science Buddies in your class or program? We would love to hear your story! Email us at scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org and tell us how you use Science Buddies with students.

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