Puffmobile: Design and Test Your Very Own Racecar
Hosted by: UT Austin Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers
Visit our Booth: Saturday, February 27, 2021, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Recommended Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
The Challenge: Create a racecar entirely powered by your breath. Setup a racetrack and race with your family and friends. The winner is the Puffmobile that gets across or reaches the finish line first. Huff and Puff and blow to get your racecar to move. Good luck and have fun!
Recommended Materials: construction paper, hard candy lifesavers, plastic straws, scissors, tape
- Place a lifesaver at each end of a plastic straw, shortened to your desired length, to form the "axle and wheels". Repeat using another straw and 2 lifesavers. Tape the lifesavers so they do not move around.
- Cut and fold your paper into whatever shape you believe will help catch the wind you blow to form our "sail". Connect the sail to the axles using tape.
- Take a picture and race!
Take a photo of your design or video your race and share on Flipgrid.
Check out the Activity Video tab for a demonstration and puffmobile examples created by engineering students in the UT Austin Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.
See the handout below for more instructions.
How does this activity connect to STEM and today's Girl Day theme of Moving Around: Land, Water, Air, and Space? Engineers have to figure out how to be resourceful and find creative ways to find the most effective solution. Today, engineers are finding ways to make automobiles more energy-efficient and clean, yet able to compete with gas-powered automobiles. Students will learn wind energy can be used to perform work.
Engineers work in teams to form designs and calculate how big or long the car needs to be, look at the science to figure out what shapes will work best, consider which surfaces are easiest to travel on, and more.
Check out the video above for a demonstration and puffmobile examples created by engineering students in the UT Austin Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.
Materials: paper, straws, lifesavers, tape, scissors
- Cut your straws into axles
- Add lifesavers and tape to make the wheels
- Repeat to make as many axles as you need
- Make a sail out of the paper
- Tape your sail to your axles
- Decorate your puffmobile
- Blow to make it move and race
- Take a photo of your design or video your race and share on Flipgrid.
The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) was founded in November 2007 to help Asian heritage scientific and engineering professionals achieve their full potential.
As of June 2009, founding corporate members are Procter & Gamble and The Dow Chemical Company.
SASE's mission is to prepare Asian heritage scientists and engineers for success in the global business world, celebrate diversity on campuses and in the workplace, and to provide opportunities for members to make contributions to their local communities. SASE membership is open to men and women of all ethnic backgrounds.