This term KS3 STEM club has been looking at the science, technology and engineering behind cars. They have been putting into practice what they have learnt by constructing remote control car kits. These two excellent kits have proved quite challenging (for the staff involved too!) and the two teams are currently having a little competition to see who can complete theirs first. The students involved having been learning some basic construction techniques, including how to prepare the parts for assembly and will later be looking at how the motor, suspension and aerodynamics work on a real and model vehicle.
Construction of the cars is coming on well; both teams have begun to construct the suspension for the cars and added the electronic components to the chassis. The teams have discovered that if they assign small jobs to different people this helps them work faster, very much as a production line does for a real car. This week one team edged slightly ahead by adding the front wheels to their car and testing out the steering and suspension. They soon found out the wheels were pointing outwards slightly (we call this tracking) which would make the car very bumpy to drive. This was soon adjusted and the other team will have to follow suit.
The final part of this session saw both teams beginning to construct the rear gearbox for the car. This is really the heart of the vehicle and something that needs to be carefully constructed. Just like real cars, ours have differentials so there will be plenty of head scratching going on next week for sure.