Measuring Vehicle Distance

Students in third grade at Northridge Elementary were given a design project to help them explore measurement and data.  They were challenged to design a vehicle that would travel as far as possible when released down a ramp.  Third graders had to ideate their solutions on the dry-erase tables that are a part of the new Northridge Innovation Lab.  They then used the materials provded, which included items such as cup lids, washers, cardboard, and straws, to build their designs.  When their prototypes were complete, students released their vehicle down a ramp and measured the distance it traveled.  They recorded the distances of five attempts on a table, and identified the maximum and minimum distances their prototype traveled.  Students were then able to revisit their designs and make any reiterations they desired to maximize the distance for their vehicles.  Such a fun and engaging way to apply math concepts!