Unit Overview

Kids engineer toy cars out of items that would ordinarily be discarded.

  • Grades 3–5
  • Setting: Out of school
  • Science connection: Forces and motion
  • 8 activities
  • 45 minutes per activity

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Kids engineer a tower and are introduced to the Engineering Design Process as a problem-solving tool.
Kids explore the idea that they are engineers who can design and improve technology.
Kids build and test two wheel systems and see how well other wheel materials roll.
Kids think about how to use recycled materials as car components and experiment with different wheel designs.
Kids make the track that the Recycled Racer Rally will be held on.
Groups use what they have learned from testing and from other groups to begin engineering their own racers.
Groups are introduced to the idea that they can use air and sails to power their cars.
Groups improve their racers and decorate them if they have additional time.
Kids present the racers they engineered and share their knowledge of the Engineering Design Process.

What's Included?

  • Educator Guide (PDF)
  • Engineering Journal (PDF)
  • Context-Setting Audio Messages (.mp3)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources