Y4 Flying Cars

As part of our “Y4 Go Wild!” learning journey, Y4 were inspired by the idea of creating ‘flying cars’, like in this picture. In science, we found out how to create electrical circuits, and how to represent these circuits on paper using the correct symbols. We did this using battery packs, crocodile clips and lightbulbs, buzzers and switches.

Then we applied this learning to create some cars. The cars were powered by motor-driven fans, so we used our electrical circuit knowledge to connect the parts. The movement of the cars link linked to some prior learning we’d done about forces, so we knew the fans could provide enough of a push force to move the car. As well as thinking scientifically, we had to use some design and technology skills to make firm axles for the wheels to rotate in. We scientifically tested the cars to find out which fan worked the best.

Finally, we employed a ‘trial and improvement’ approach to creating parachutes. We already knew from straw plane and helicopter investigations that we need ‘lift’ to be greater than the mass of the car (gravity) to keep it in the air. We launched these using a no-expense-spared parachute launcher (our ‘thrust’). Generally we found that having the right balance between the weight of the plasticine the parachute was carrying and the size of the parachute was important, and having shorter strings than we expected helped. Some of the parachutes made it all the way across the field, but unfotunately we didn’t catch any of these on film! Check out the video below of some of our attempts.

Or use this link to view them: