Tackan Fourth Graders Create Restraint Systems to Protect Eggs in Crashes

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Students in Elise Viola’s fourth grade class at Tackan Elementary School having been learning about energy transfer in collisions. And on Wednesday, they applied that recent education by testing vehicles they designed to carry eggs safely down a track and into a wall.
Using Vex Kit pieces, and with the assistance of STEM instructional specialist Dave Junz, the students strapped eggs into their vehicle restraint systems. The vehicles then were placed on an inclined plane. And when the students let go of their vehicles, they learned upon impact with the wall if their designs worked and the eggs remained uncracked.
The students recorded the impacts with slow-motion video to analyze it afterward.
Students have been exploring how mechanisms change energy by transferring direction, speed, type of movement and force. They discovered a variety of ways that potential energy can be stored and released as kinetic energy.
They also learned the relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object. And they predicted the transfer of energy as a result of a collision between two objects.
“The students were given a choice of materials used and a set of parameters to work within with a reminder of how energy is transferred,” Viola said.