This post is part of the 5 Days of Engineering Challenges series, Check it out for more fun, engineering project ideas for your kids.
I’ve always been fascinated by sail boats. Harnessing the power of the wind to move vessels small and large across the water is a science that I would love to learn more about.
To explore the concept of sail size and vessel size and weight, the kids and I decided to experiment with sailboats with wheels – a wind car.
Building A Wind Car
When thinking about building something with wheels, the kids and I automatically thought of Legos. They broke them out and started building. Their creations started out small and simple, but creativity got the best of them and their wind cars grew.
For this engineering challenge, I have them just a few simple rules:
- No limit on size
- The wind car must have a sail
- The wind car must travel across our tile floor powered only with wind from a window fan.
Related post: 50+ STEAM Activities
Building a craft with the right weight/size to sail ratio is tricky. The kids had to try several sail sizes, types, and positions. Some sails work, but which sails work the best?
Try this at home with your kids. Race your crafts to determine which design is the best.