Sail Car Activity

$6.98

Basic, Single SKU: 1824-77

Basic, 10 Pack SKU: 1824-67

Advanced, Single SKU: 1824-42

Advanced, 10 Pack SKU: 1824-52

Harness the power of the wind - on land - and there'll be smooth sailing ahead for this incredible STEM | STEAM activity kit! Students 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! For lower grade levels, a TeacherGeek tool kit is required for the initial build (but car bodies can be reused each year without tool use). Tool kits are recommended for student use in higher grades. Documents available for grades Pre-K - 12.


Document Downloads
Grades Pre-K-3


Click a category to see the documents.

Set-Up Guide: Start here to build your sail car. Once built, the sail car bodies can be reused while kids test sail designs. PDF MSWord

Pre-K Labs:

Push Pull Lab:
Pre-K Version
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. PDF MSWord
Wind Lab:
Pre-K Version
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. PDF MSWord

K-1 Labs:

Push Pull Lab:
K-1 Version
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. PDF MSWord
Wind Lab:
K-1 Version
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. PDF MSWord

Grades 2-3 Labs:

Wind Lab:
2-3 Version
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. PDF MSWord
Balanced Forces Lab: 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. PDF MSWord

Challenge Set-Up: Choose your challenge - Tailwind (easy) or Crosswind (more difficult) - and set up your race track! PDF MSWord
Engineering Notebook:
Pre-K Edition
Have your students track their sail designs and their success. This pre-K document is designed for students who cannot yet write numbers. PDF MSWord
Engineering Notebook:
K-3 Edition
Have your students track their sail designs and their success. PDF MSWord

Standards: Find the NGSS and CCSS standards for the Sail Car activities. PDF MSWord
STEAM Market-It Challenge 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. PDF MSWord
Engineering Notebook:
Pre-K Edition
Have your students track their sail designs and their success. This pre-K document is designed for students who cannot yet write numbers. PDF MSWord
Engineering Notebook:
K-3 Edition
Have your students track their sail designs and their success. PDF MSWord
Sailing Simulator: 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. Link
Land Sailing Background Wikipedia's article on Land Sailing discusses history, speed records, and current competitions in land sailing (sail cars). Link
Getting Started Guide: This is a short, one-page summary of this web page. You probably don't need it, but here it is! PDF

Document Downloads
Grades 4-12


Click a category to see the documents.

Basic 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). PDF MSWord
Advanced Go Guide: PDF MSWord

Grades 4+ Labs:

Balanced Forces Lab: Students learn about balanced forces by investigating aerodynamics, using two fans to make a wind tunnel. PDF MSWord

Grades 7+ Labs:

PocketLabs are required for labs in this section.

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

Grades 9+ Labs:

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

Atwood's Machine Lab: Students use a Half Atwood's Machine to explore Newton's 2nd Law. Atwood's Page
Momentum Lab: Students investigate collisions and the conservation of momentum. PDF MSWord Answer Key

Crosswind Challenge: Increase the challenge over the Go Guide by moving the wind from the behind the car to the side of it. PDF MSWord
Headwind Challenge: The hardest of the challenges, students must now sail at an angle into the wind (yes – it’s possible, and the resources in the Go Guide make it achievable for all students). PDF MSWord

TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need

What tools will you need to do this activity?

Process

Process Description

Recommended Tool

Alternate Tool

Cutting

Cutting dowels, strips, recycling bin items, etc.

Multi-Cutter

Saw, Pruning Shears

Reaming

Change splined holes in components from press fit (dowels press and stay) to loose fit (dowels are able to slide and rotate).

Reamer

#3 Drill Bit and Drill

Screwing

Tighten and loosen screws

Screwdriver

None

Hammering and Tapping

Tap components through holes easier with this stubby claw hammer.

Hammer (Optional)

None

Sets of tools can be found here.

    Sail Car Components

    What's in the Sail Car Activity?

    Component: 10pk Quantity: Single Quantity:
    1" Screws 40 4
    3" Slide Stop Material 10 1
    12" Dowels 40 4
    Hole Plate 20 2
    Wheel Hubs 40 4

    This is an educational product and not a toy. It is intended for use by ages 6 and above with adult supervision.

      Science, Math & Engineering Standards

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

      Next Generation Science Standards
      NGSS Standards Download - PDF
      NGSS Standards Spreadsheet - Editable /Searchable Excel Sheet

      International Technology & Engineering Educators' Association Standards
      ITEEA Standards Download - PDF
      ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet - Editable/Searchable Excel Sheet

      Standards: Find the NGSS and CCSS standards for the Sail Car activities. PDF MSWord
      STEAM Market-It Challenge 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. PDF MSWord
      Engineering Notebook: Available at two different learning levels, the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook is designed to help students cycle thru the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. It is recommended that extra pages are printed and on-hand during activities. Simple PDF Standard PDF
      Sailing Simulator: 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. Link
      Land Sailing Background Wikipedia's article on Land Sailing discusses history, speed records, and current competitions in land sailing (sail cars). Link
      Getting Started Guide: This is a short, one-page summary of this web page. You probably don't need it, but here it is! PDF