Build your own STEM buggy

by Fellowship Agency June 6, 2018

Use the contents of the tray to make a wind powered buggy. You do not have to use every item in the tray, you are free to pick and choose the items you feel will make the best buggy. The aim is to build a buggy that travels the furthest, so make sure your buggies are aerodynamic.

For a challenge and if you have multiple buggies, race them against each other. The winning buggy is the one that travels the furthest distance when powered with a single breath.

You will need…

  • 1 Deep (F2) Gratnells tray with a lid
  • Plastic milk bottle tops
  • Corriflute
  • Drinking straws
  • Sellotape
  • Wooden BBQ skewers
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • A4 coloured card
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Blue tac
  • A4 coloured paper
  • Wooden wheels
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Ruler
  • Felt tip pens
  • Elastic bands
  • Plastic yoghurt pots

What to do…

  • Challenge the students individually or in small groups to make a moving buggy using the materials supplied. It must be stable and must have the ability to move like a buggy. It will be powered by a single breath so students should take this into consideration.
  • Set the class a time limit in which they should complete the buggy. Once the time is up, come together to test the buggies.
  • Line up each of the buggies on a flat surface. Using a single breath, blow each buggy to see how far it travels.
  • If you have space, leave them in place as markers/targets for the other buggies. If not, mark the floor/table with a small bit of tape to measure distance traveled.
  • Once all of the buggies have had their turn, take some time to analyse the buggies and their characteristics. Ask questions about why some buggies traveled further than others. What could be done to improve the buggy? Is there anything that could be added or taken away to make them travel further?

Health and Safety

As with all Gratnells What’s In My Tray activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment prior to undertaking any activities with children.