You can make a basic electric model car using a small motor, batteries and a few simple parts. If you wish, you can even make it a solar car with the addition of some photovoltaic cells.
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You can buy electric cars in kits or you can assemble your own materials. You need a motor, batteries, bell wire, transmission belt (rubber band) and materials to build the chassis, axles and wheels. Styrofoam, plastic and balsa wood are all light materials you can obtain easily. A battery holder and motor mount are useful but not essential. Depending on your design you may need solar cells. You may also need tacks, staples or glue. Duct tape is always very useful as well.
Energy from the solar cells or the batteries powers the motor. The transmission belt is looped around one of the axles and also around the axle of the motor. It transmits force from the motor, which propels the car along.
As a teacher, you can use a homemade electric car to explore and teach the concepts of propulsion and power transfer. You can also use it to demonstrate simple electronic circuits. This project builds teamwork and problem-solving skills.
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