Awesome Aqua Cars!

This term in STEMies Club, the girls had an exciting project to build their very own Aqua Car using Kinetikits. This project not only allowed the girls to delve into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), but also emphasized the importance of reusing materials. The highlight of the project was the use of a 3L milk bottle as the foundation for creating an amphibious vehicle.

The Aqua Car Kit provided the necessary components, including a geared motor, a battery case with an ON/OFF switch, and recycled laser-cut plywood paddle wheels and axles. The girls embarked on a journey that required them to follow instructions accurately, problem-solve effectively, and think critically throughout the process.

To ensure the mechanics were protected from water, the 3L milk bottle was skilfully cut into a suitable shape, as specified by the supplied dimensions. The use of a soldering iron allowed them to create holes for the axles, enabling smooth rotation of the paddle wheels. However, the girls encountered a minor challenge while assembling the paddles. To address this, they used emery boards to file the slots, ensuring a perfect fit for the connections.

The next hurdle was to correctly position the geared motor. It turned out that some of the paddle wheels were spinning backward. The girls tackled this obstacle by experimenting and finding the right orientation for the motor, ultimately ensuring that both paddles moved in the intended direction.

Once the technical aspects were successfully completed, it was time for the girls to unleash their creativity and add a personal touch to their Aqua Cars. With colourful waterproof pens, stickers, and various decorative elements, they transformed their creations into unique and vibrant vehicles with their own personalities.

Finally, after connecting and securely positioning all the components, the moment arrived to put their Aqua Cars to the test. The girls eagerly observed as their creations effortlessly maneuvered on both land and water, proving the effectiveness of their hard work and problem-solving skills.

The Aqua Car project not only provided an engaging and hands-on experience for the STEMies girls, but it also fostered an appreciation for reusing materials and encouraged them to think innovatively. Through following instructions, troubleshooting challenges, and exploring their creativity, these young aspiring engineers gained valuable skills that will undoubtedly serve them well in their future STEM endeavours.

The possibilities are endless when STEM and reuse intersect!


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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!