MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

Make It Move! – STEM Challenge

It’s time for a STEM Challenge! Make It Move is a great STEM Challenge for big or small groups that requires creativity, ingenuity and lots of fun! It can be done solo but would be even more fun in a group or teams. So who’s up for a Make It Move! STEM Challenge?

STEM CHALLENGE AND GAME WITH CARS

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

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I love a project that is scalable, where my boys can work independently, in teams, or in big groups. Having many different options with a project gives us so many more learning opportunities and with each new time we try a challenge like this the kids learn something new.

The Make It Move! STEM Challenge is a lot of fun and can be used for almost any elementary aged child. 

STEM CHALLENGE – MAKE IT MOVE!

Supplies

Matchbox Cars
A level table
Tinker supplies – Some of the things we used included magnets, straws, tape, balloons, string, paper, etc.
An imagination!

The Challenge

Race your car from one end of the table to the other. This can be a head to head race or simply who can make it to the end.

The Rules

You may not touch your car or alter the track. You also can not lift the table.

When we started the first ideas to come up were building a ramp or lifting the table, so it was important that they understood those were against the rules. Building the ramp would alter the track.

Once they understood those rules, the creativity really started. Of course we had to convert our homeschool table into a race track, complete with cheering crowds!

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

We had one car altered with magnets. By strapping a magnet to the bottom of the car, the kids were able to use another magnet or a magnet wand on the underside of the table to race it to the other end. The challenge here was finding a car with big enough tires and enough lift so the magnet didn’t rub against the table slowing it down. But once we found one, it worked great! This worked so well the kids kept doing it for hours.

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

They loved this idea so much they tried to was use the magnets backwards. This involved strapping the magnet to the back of the car, then reversing the wand so the magnets repelled each other, pushing the car forward. This worked, but it was insanely hard to keep the car straight. Having the magnet on the bottom made for a much faster race!

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

Next idea was to attach a sail to the top of a car and blow on it. We recently did our windpower challenge, so it was neat to see those lessons coming back into play again. This again worked really well.

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

Another idea they had was to create basically a zipline for the car by attaching a straw to the top and running a string through it. When one end of the string was lifted, it zipped along to the finish line.

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

Finally, they tried to amp up the windpower with a propulsion system using a balloon. When it worked this was SUPER fast, but getting the balloon blown up, attached and having everything angled just right so it raced took a lot of attention and focus. But when it worked… WOW! The biggest issue became keeping it on the track as it usually ended up flying across the room!

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

There are so many different ways kids could solve this STEM challenge. The only limit is supplies and imagination. How would you race your car down the track without touching it?

MAKE IT MOVE! - STEM Challenge that kids of all ages will love as they race to the finish!

Looking for more great STEM Challenges?

Make plastic from milk. Create your own toys, beads, jewelry, and more, with ingredients you have right now in your kitchen. It's so easy and super cool!
Wind Power STEM Challenge - Mission: Lego Rescue. A fantastic STEM challenge that encourages the creation of mechanical energy with a tinker box windmill to "rescue" a minifig.
Super Simple Chemistry Kids Love - For the home, classroom, camp or troop, this fun chemistry kids activity is educational, messy, fun!
Hatch baking soda dinosaur eggs with science in this fun activity that will capture the imagination of all ages! Simple chemistry learning.

Build A Car with this Balloon Powered Dragster Kit For Kids

This kit from Creation Crate Jr is so much fun and perfect for elementary aged kids. Learn about engineering, force, thrust and friction, all while giggling and having so much fun! Check it out!

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