Sail Car Activity

$6.98

Type

President's Award Winner

Harness the power of the wind - on land - and there'll be smooth sailing ahead for this incredible STEM | STEAM activity kit! Kids are empowered to quickly experiment with ease, testing and re-adjusting their sail’s shape, angle and pitch. Watch as they work through the engineering & design process, designing their sail cars for speed, distance or even to ferry school supplies across the room! Change wind conditions to increase the challenge, or choose from the 10 labs designed to investigate the science behind the sail car.

The Advanced Sail Car features extra components for innovation and tinkering! Add tools to the advanced kit for even more innovation. Documents available for grades Pre-K - 12.

You need a Phillips-head Screwdriver for this activity pack!
Scroll down to "Things You'll Need" for more info.

Age Range

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18+

Customize this activity for the highlighted ages with tons of free labs and challenges!

This is an educational product and not a toy. Adult supervision is required.

Videos

Documents

Click on the flowchart to view documents from each category.

Go Guide:

Give it to your students and go! This is the essential document to get students started with sail cars, and it culminates in the tailwind engineering challenge. There are two versions of the Go Guide, pick based on whether you ordered the basic kit or the advanced kit (which includes extra parts).

Basic Go Guide:
PDF DOCX Video
For the basic version of the kit.
Advanced Go Guide:
PDF DOCX Video
For the advanced version of the kit.

Labs:

Pre-K Labs:

Push Pull Lab:
Pre-K Version
PDF DOCX Video
Students investigate how pushing or pulling at different strengths changes the distance the sail car rolls. This pre-K activity is designed for kids who are not reading/writing yet.
Wind Lab:
Pre-K Version
PDF DOCX Video
Students investigate the effect of sail size on the distance their sail car travels. This pre-K activity is designed for kids who are not reading/writing yet.

Grades 2-3 Labs:

Push Pull Lab:
K-1 Version
PDF DOCX Video
Students investigate how pushing or pulling at different strengths changes the distance the sail car rolls. This grade K-1 activity is designed for kids who are new to writing numbers.
Wind Lab:
K-1 Version
PDF DOCX Video
Students investigate the effect of sail size on the distance their sail car travels. This grade K-1 activity is designed for kids who are new to writing numbers.

Grades 2-3 Labs:

Wind Lab:
2-3 Version
PDF DOCX Video
Students investigate the effect of sail size on the distance their sail car travels. This grade 2-3 activity is designed for kids who can measure distances.
Balanced Forces Lab:
PDF DOCX Video
Students learn about balanced forces by investigating aerodynamics, using two fans to make a wind tunnel. This activity is designed for kids who can measure distances.

Grades 4+ Labs:

Balanced Forces Lab:
PDF DOCX Video
Students learn about balanced forces by investigating aerodynamics, using two fans to make a wind tunnel. This activity is designed for kids who can measure distances.

Grades 7+ Labs:

PocketLabs are required for labs in this section.

Forces & Motion Lab - PocketLab Edition:
PDF DOCX ANSWERS Video
Students use a PocketLab to investigate the drag force, its correlation with sail size, and its impact on sail car velocity.
Inertia Lab - PocketLab Edition:
PDF DOCX ANSWERS Video
Students use a PocketLab to investigate inertia and its impact on sail car velocity.

Grades 9+ Labs:

Advanced Sail Car Kits are required for labs in this section.

Atwood's Machine Lab:
Atwood's Page
Students use a Half Atwood's Machine to explore Newton's 2nd Law.
Momentum Lab:
PDF DOCX ANSWERS Video
SStudents investigate collisions and the conservation of momentum.

Challenges:

Design your car to race with the wind, across the wind, or into the wind!
See the Go Guide document for challenge instructions.

Basic Go Guide:
PDF DOCX Video
Challenges are included in this document for the basic version of the kit.
Advanced Go Guide:
PDF DOCX Video
Challenges are included in this document for advanced version of the kit.
Engineering Notebook:
Pre-K Edition
PDF DOCX
Have your students track their sail designs and their success. This pre-K document is designed for students who cannot yet write numbers.
Engineering Notebook:
K-3 Edition
PDF DOCX
Have your students track their sail designs and their success.

Other Resources:

Standards (Pre-K to 3):
PDF DOCX
Get NGSS, CCSS, and ITEEA/STL standards for the Sail Car activities geared towards grades pre-K to 3.
Standards (4 to 12):
PDF DOCX
Get NGSS, CCSS, and ITEEA/STL standards for the Sail Car activities geared towards grades 4-12.
STEAM Market-It Challenge:
PDF DOCX
Add the STEAM Market-It Challenge to any completed TeacherGeek activity to teach students how to turn their TeacherGeek design into a retail product. Students will learn the 4 'Ps' of marketing - Product, Placement, Price and Promotion. Students have the option of completing a commercial, a billboard or retail packaging as a summative assessment.
Engineering Notebook:
Pre-K Edition
PDF DOCX
Have your students track their sail designs and their success. This pre-K document is designed for students who cannot yet write numbers.
Engineering Notebook:
K-3 Edition
PDF DOCX
Have your students track their sail designs and their success.
Sailing Simulator:
Website
ThePirateKing.com's sailing simulator is great for investigating sail angle vs the wind. This external resource uses Adobe Flash, which will not be supported after December 2020.
Land Sailing Background:
Website
Wikipedia's article on Land Sailing discusses history, speed records, and current competitions in land sailing (sail cars).

Things You'll Need

You're going to need some stuff, but don't sweat it! You probably have it already.

Click a tab below to choose how you will complete this activity - that determines what you'll need.

You're using the activity packs you can purchase on this page?
You're in the right tab!

TeacherGeek Tools

REQUIRED

Screw Driver

Drive screws into holes.

optional

Slip Joint Pliers

Grab nuts, bend
wires, etc.

optional

Multi-Cutter

Cut dowels, strips,
recycling bin items, etc.

optional

Reamer

Ream splines (teeth),
from holes so
dowels spin freely.

optional

Mini Hammer

Tap dowels into
other components.

Other Supplies

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Fan (to create wind)
  • Paper (sail material)
  • Recycling Bin Materials (to make more creative sails)
You have a Maker Cart?
You're in the right tab!

You will need to pre-cut the dowels for this activity, or your kids can cut them (with adult supervision).

TeacherGeek Tools

REQUIRED

Screw Driver

Drive screws into holes.

optional

Slip Joint Pliers

Grab nuts, bend
wires, etc.

REQUIRED

Multi-Cutter

Cut dowels, strips,
recycling bin items, etc.

optional

Reamer

Ream splines (teeth),
from holes so
dowels spin freely.

optional

Mini Hammer

Tap dowels into
other components.

Other Supplies

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Fan (to create wind)
  • Paper (sail material)
  • Recycling Bin Materials (to make more creative sails)
You have Bulk TeacherGeek Components?
You're in the right tab!

Make sure you have the right components - check the Go Guide (see above).

You will need to pre-cut the dowels for this activity, or your kids can cut them (with adult supervision).

TeacherGeek Tools

REQUIRED

Screw Driver

Drive screws into holes.

optional

Slip Joint Pliers

Grab nuts, bend
wires, etc.

REQUIRED

Multi-Cutter

Cut dowels, strips,
recycling bin items, etc.

optional

Reamer

Ream splines (teeth),
from holes so
dowels spin freely.

optional

Mini Hammer

Tap dowels into
other components.

Other Supplies

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Fan (to create wind)
  • Paper (sail material)
  • Recycling Bin Materials (to make more creative sails)

Science, Math & Engineering Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

NGSS Standards Spreadsheet:
PDF DOCX
NGSS standards matrix for all TeacherGeek activities.
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet:
PDF DOCX
ITEEA standards matrix for all TeacherGeek activities.