Wind-Powered Sail Cars

Type of Resource



Student pairs design and construct small, wind-powered sail cars using limited quantities of drinking straws, masking tape, paper and beads. Teams compete to see which sail car travels the farthest when pushed by the wind (simulated by the use of an electric fan). Students learn about wind and kinetic and renewable energy, and follow the steps of the engineering design process to imagine, create, test, evaluate and refine their sail cars. This activity is part of a unit in which multiple activit

Performance Expectations

3-5-ETS1-2   Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-PS3-5   Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.