Students start out the lesson by looking at a list of seven (7) reasons that a person might consider when purchasing a vehicle (color, style, brand name, etc.)
Students are then broken out into teams and directed to select a vehicle (sports car, sedan, pick-up truck, etc) that they will utilize for the remainder of the class period. Students are asked to select their vehicle prior to being given any further information about the activity.
Only after the student teams have selected their vehicles are they provided with a “window sticker” which will give them additional information, such as gas mileage, EPA ratings, etc.
Student are then given a “mock allowance” of $30 to spend on fuel for their vehicle. Then are then asked to calculate how far they will be able to travel using the $30 worth of fuel. Students will also calculate how much pollution their vehicle will generate using $30 worth of fuel.
Finally, the teams compete against each other on a “race board”, placing their vehicles along a chart to how far their vehicle traveled on $30 worth of gas and also how much CO2 their car emitted.
Students will also be involved in a discussion about alternative forms of transportation and alternative fuels for vehicles.
Utilizing simply designed balloon powered cars with different race line attachments students will have the opportunity to experiment with different set-ups to find one that would work well with the design of their vehicle.