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Discussion Starter #1
I have a fun little project for the EV "brain trust". On Nov 13 2010 our
BEST group will have a booth at the Math/Science Fun Fair at the
University of Minnesota, in St. Paul MN. This is an all-day event where
a thousand or so elementary school kids come for "hands on"
demonstrations of various applications of science, math, and physics.
There are arc-n-spark shows, fun with chemistry, Lego contests, battling
robots, bug races, etc.

BEST (Bridging Engineering Science and Teaching www.bestoutreach.com)
teaches kids how to build stuff; specifically their own EVs. They go
from sketches, to small models, to go-kart-size vehicles.

We recruit new students, teachers, and mentors for the program at the
Fun Fair each year. Our booth typically has examples of large cars the
kids built, their small cars (driven by batteries and toy motors),
videos of our annual races, etc. One always-popular item is our "drag
race" track, where they can test the small cars to see which one is
fastest. This is always popular, but lots of these small cars get broken.

My thought for this year is to prepare some kind of kit that the
students can assemble right on the spot and race. This gives them some
hands-on building, and should provide a continuing source of small cars.
We could even sell the small car kits for a donation (money helps us
keep BEST going).

So here's the challenge: Given a baggie with a little toy motor and a
couple AA cells, what would you put in the bag so elementary school kids
can quickly build a little car with few or no tools?

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #2
Lego's might work well for this. I also like Erector Sets, since they're
more 'real' and durable. Is cost an issue? Do you want them to scratch
build the structures, or assemble to a design?

-Bryan


Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:

> I have a fun little project for the EV "brain trust". On Nov 13 2010 our
> BEST group will have a booth at the Math/Science Fun Fair at the
> University of Minnesota, in St. Paul MN. This is an all-day event where
> a thousand or so elementary school kids come for "hands on"
> demonstrations of various applications of science, math, and physics.
> There are arc-n-spark shows, fun with chemistry, Lego contests, battling
> robots, bug races, etc.
>
> BEST (Bridging Engineering Science and Teaching www.bestoutreach.com)
> teaches kids how to build stuff; specifically their own EVs. They go
> from sketches, to small models, to go-kart-size vehicles.
>
> We recruit new students, teachers, and mentors for the program at the
> Fun Fair each year. Our booth typically has examples of large cars the
> kids built, their small cars (driven by batteries and toy motors),
> videos of our annual races, etc. One always-popular item is our "drag
> race" track, where they can test the small cars to see which one is
> fastest. This is always popular, but lots of these small cars get broken.
>
> My thought for this year is to prepare some kind of kit that the
> students can assemble right on the spot and race. This gives them some
> hands-on building, and should provide a continuing source of small cars.
> We could even sell the small car kits for a donation (money helps us
> keep BEST going).
>
> So here's the challenge: Given a baggie with a little toy motor and a
> couple AA cells, what would you put in the bag so elementary school kids
> can quickly build a little car with few or no tools?
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [email protected] only.
> | Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
> | UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> | OTHER HELP: http://evdl.org/help/
> | OPTIONS: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
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Discussion Starter #3
Lego!!! Perfect idea!

Bryan Wilcox wrote:
> Lego's might work well for this. I also like Erector Sets, since they're
> more 'real' and durable. Is cost an issue? Do you want them to scratch
> build the structures, or assemble to a design?
>
> -Bryan
>

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Discussion Starter #4
A soap-box racer. Not too many tools required in assembling one of
those, is there?

Lee Hart wrote:
> I have a fun little project for the EV "brain trust". On Nov 13 2010 our
> BEST group will have a booth at the Math/Science Fun Fair at the
> University of Minnesota, in St. Paul MN. This is an all-day event where
> a thousand or so elementary school kids come for "hands on"
> demonstrations of various applications of science, math, and physics.
> There are arc-n-spark shows, fun with chemistry, Lego contests, battling
> robots, bug races, etc.
>
> BEST (Bridging Engineering Science and Teaching www.bestoutreach.com)
> teaches kids how to build stuff; specifically their own EVs. They go
> from sketches, to small models, to go-kart-size vehicles.
>
> We recruit new students, teachers, and mentors for the program at the
> Fun Fair each year. Our booth typically has examples of large cars the
> kids built, their small cars (driven by batteries and toy motors),
> videos of our annual races, etc. One always-popular item is our "drag
> race" track, where they can test the small cars to see which one is
> fastest. This is always popular, but lots of these small cars get broken.
>
> My thought for this year is to prepare some kind of kit that the
> students can assemble right on the spot and race. This gives them some
> hands-on building, and should provide a continuing source of small cars.
> We could even sell the small car kits for a donation (money helps us
> keep BEST going).
>
> So here's the challenge: Given a baggie with a little toy motor and a
> couple AA cells, what would you put in the bag so elementary school kids
> can quickly build a little car with few or no tools?
>

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Discussion Starter #5
Since BEST is all about creating I would keep it very basic. A handful of popsicle sticks or tounge depressors for building the frame. Some basic fasteners like twisty ties, small screws, tape or nails. A small toy motor and two AA batteries and some wire. Something round for wheels, maybe just round circles cut out of wood. To maximize the creativity have plenty of each. You also might want to consider some kind of passenger, an army man or small toy animal just for fun as well :)

damon

> Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 14:03:59 -0500
> From: [email protected]
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: [EVDL] Ideas for really simple electric car
>
> I have a fun little project for the EV "brain trust". On Nov 13 2010 our
> BEST group will have a booth at the Math/Science Fun Fair at the
> University of Minnesota, in St. Paul MN. This is an all-day event where
> a thousand or so elementary school kids come for "hands on"
> demonstrations of various applications of science, math, and physics.
> There are arc-n-spark shows, fun with chemistry, Lego contests, battling
> robots, bug races, etc.
>
> BEST (Bridging Engineering Science and Teaching www.bestoutreach.com)
> teaches kids how to build stuff; specifically their own EVs. They go
> from sketches, to small models, to go-kart-size vehicles.
>
> We recruit new students, teachers, and mentors for the program at the
> Fun Fair each year. Our booth typically has examples of large cars the
> kids built, their small cars (driven by batteries and toy motors),
> videos of our annual races, etc. One always-popular item is our "drag
> race" track, where they can test the small cars to see which one is
> fastest. This is always popular, but lots of these small cars get broken.
>
> My thought for this year is to prepare some kind of kit that the
> students can assemble right on the spot and race. This gives them some
> hands-on building, and should provide a continuing source of small cars.
> We could even sell the small car kits for a donation (money helps us
> keep BEST going).
>
> So here's the challenge: Given a baggie with a little toy motor and a
> couple AA cells, what would you put in the bag so elementary school kids
> can quickly build a little car with few or no tools?
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [email protected] only.
> | Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
> | UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> | OTHER HELP: http://evdl.org/help/
> | OPTIONS: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

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Discussion Starter #6
I vote for K'nex,
http://www.knex.com
Here's some innovative ideas by users,
http://www.knex.com/club/gallery.php

When the Inventors Hall of Fame was still open in Akron, OH my son and I would
visit a couple of times a year. In the lower level they had interactive
displays and a huge assortment of K'nex parts. Kyle and I would each build a
really funky looking vehicle and then race them. It would probably be pretty
easy to add a small electric motor, a couple of rubber bands and a 9V battery
and your ready to role!


----- Original Message ----
From: mark at evie-systems <[email protected]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[email protected]>
Sent: Wed, October 20, 2010 4:32:24 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Ideas for really simple electric car

Lego!!! Perfect idea!

Bryan Wilcox wrote:
> Lego's might work well for this. I also like Erector Sets, since they're
> more 'real' and durable. Is cost an issue? Do you want them to scratch
> build the structures, or assemble to a design?
>
> -Bryan
>

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Discussion Starter #7
Lee Hart wrote:
>> Here's the challenge: Given a baggie with a little toy motor and
>> a couple AA cells, what else would you put in the bag so elementary
>> school kids can quickly build a little car with few or no tools?

Bryan Wilcox wrote:
> Legos might work well for this. I also like Erector Sets, since
> they're more 'real' and durable. Is cost an issue? Do you want them
> to scratch build the structures, or assemble to a design?

Legos are OK, but rather expensive and lead to inside-the-box solutions.

Erector sets are great, but also expensive and require tools and more time.

The idea is to get kids to think "outside the box"; not to build some
adult-designed kit. BEST students usually build their model cars out of
"found" or recycled materials; cardboard boxes, pop bottles, tin cans,
jar lids, Styrofoam cups, popsicle sticks, rubber bands, scrap bits of
wood, etc. They get thumbtacked or taped or hot glued together. The
motor might have a small wheel pressed right onto its shaft (pencil
eraser), or rub against the edge of a wheel (friction drive), or have a
rubber band connecting the motor shaft and wheel (belt drive). The motor
wires connect to the batteries with tape or rubber bands.

That's the sort of thing I'm looking for here. Ordinary "stuff" we can
put in the bag, along with some illustrations of sample cars. Let the
kids look at the cars already built, then "invent" their own Thingamajig
and see how it compares.

We get the motors and batteries for less than $1, so if the rest of the
parts are cheap, we can sell or even give these baggie kits away to
promote BEST.
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #8
mark at evie-systems wrote:
> Lego!!! Perfect idea!

Legos are OK, but kind of expensive and they make it difficult to buy
them for (say) 100 "baggie" kits.

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #9
>
> Legos are OK, but rather expensive and lead to inside-the-box solutions.
>
> Erector sets are great, but also expensive and require tools and more time.
>

Got it. I wondered where the 'expensive' line would be for this challenge.
:)

Bamboo chopsticks are a good source for light, strong rods (the give-away
kind at cheap Chinese places). With rubber bands or hot glue these could be
used for frames. They could also function as axles if you have the round
kind. Ditto for plastic straws.

-Bryan
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Discussion Starter #10
damon henry wrote:
> Since BEST is all about creating I would keep it very basic. A
> handful of popsicle sticks or tounge depressors for building the
> frame. Some basic fasteners like twisty ties, small screws, tape or
> nails. A small toy motor and two AA batteries and some wire.
> Something round for wheels, maybe just round circles cut out of wood.
> To maximize the creativity have plenty of each. You also might want
> to consider some kind of passenger, an army man or small toy animal
> just for fun as well :)

Yes; that's the idea! Imagine you're a 10-year-old, and bored on a
Saturday. Can you build an EV out of "junk" from the wastebasket and the
motor and batteries from a broken toy? That's the sort of thinking we
want to inspire.

Twist-ties are a great idea. Screws can work if they're eyehooks or
something that can be screwed in by hand. Nails are OK if they can be
pushed in by hand (into styrafoam or cardboard, or a pre-drilled hole in
a piece of wood).
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #11
It just occurred to me that old cd's are a good source for wheels. So are
twist off bottle caps.

Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:

> mark at evie-systems wrote:
> > Lego!!! Perfect idea!
>
> Legos are OK, but kind of expensive and they make it difficult to buy
> them for (say) 100 "baggie" kits.
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [email protected] only.
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Discussion Starter #12
Rubber bands for power transfer and holding things together
popsicle sticks, for frame
some paperclips for axles and structures
Double sided tape
Some wire insulation just big enough to snugly on the motor axle
Duct tape
corks
maybe hotglue

Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:
> I have a fun little project for the EV "brain trust". On Nov 13 2010 our
> BEST group will have a booth at the Math/Science Fun Fair at the
> University of Minnesota, in St. Paul MN. This is an all-day event where
> a thousand or so elementary school kids come for "hands on"
> demonstrations of various applications of science, math, and physics.
> There are arc-n-spark shows, fun with chemistry, Lego contests, battling
> robots, bug races, etc.
>
> BEST (Bridging Engineering Science and Teaching www.bestoutreach.com)
> teaches kids how to build stuff; specifically their own EVs. They go
> from sketches, to small models, to go-kart-size vehicles.
>
> We recruit new students, teachers, and mentors for the program at the
> Fun Fair each year. Our booth typically has examples of large cars the
> kids built, their small cars (driven by batteries and toy motors),
> videos of our annual races, etc. One always-popular item is our "drag
> race" track, where they can test the small cars to see which one is
> fastest. This is always popular, but lots of these small cars get broken.
>
> My thought for this year is to prepare some kind of kit that the
> students can assemble right on the spot and race. This gives them some
> hands-on building, and should provide a continuing source of small cars.
> We could even sell the small car kits for a donation (money helps us
> keep BEST going).
>
> So here's the challenge: Given a baggie with a little toy motor and a
> couple AA cells, what would you put in the bag so elementary school kids
> can quickly build a little car with few or no tools?
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [email protected] only.
> | Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
> | UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> | OTHER HELP: http://evdl.org/help/
> | OPTIONS: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>



-- =

www.electric-lemon.com

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Discussion Starter #13
How about styrofoam blocks? These can easily be carved into car bodies, and
also easy to stick things into, like paperclips, or wooden rods for wheel
axles, etc.

Ed Moore
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Discussion Starter #14
I like the idea of popsicle sticks for a frame. You might include rubber
bands of various sizes (drive belts, tires); zip ties (hold things
together); and push pins (axles, mounting points; more useful than thumb
tacks). Slice 'n' dice dowels for wheels.

Seems to me that the tough part would be deciding how much guidance and
illustration to provide. Too much, and they'll build exactly what you
picture or describe. Too little, and they might get frustrated and give up
too easily.

David Roden
EVDL Administrator
http://www.evdl.org/


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Discussion Starter #15
WOW, this is NOT a little project except in size.
OK, Use all or part , I give you free license to use as you see fit.
I have not seen the parts you can use so modify as you see fit. I like idler
drive with some reduction ratio for faster acceleration. because these small
cars only go straight attach their wheels securely to the axles to maximize
traction. To the inside of one wheel attach a smaller wheel (Or a hose
washer perhaps,)for the motor shaft to drive against. For a body give each a
8x10 piece of "Overhead slide plastic" they can fold it cut it and create a
body out of it. use a second sheet if necessary, whiteboard markers or "Viz
A Viz" markers can decorate it after it is assembled. Give a shared use
table space with several hot melt glue tools to hold it together also
several pair of scissors. four keyhole shaped notches carefully located are
for axle mounting. Some may build a tube. some a wedge, and some an
interesting shape... Scraps of the plastic cut off will make motor mount,
and battery holder.
Lee, As a vocational high school and Adult instructor and Special
Student Certified, I understand what an effort you are making. "Way To Go
Man!"
Regards,
*Dennis Lee Miles* (Director) *E.V.T.I. inc*.
*www.E-V-T-I-Inc.COM <http://www.e-v-t-i-inc.com/> *(Adviser)*
EVTI-EVAEducation Chapter
*
Phone (813) ID4 - E V T I or (813) 434 - 3884 (I think word phone
numbers can be fun and good mnemonics aid memory.)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:

> I have a fun little project for the EV "brain trust". On Nov 13 2010 our
> BEST group will have a booth at the Math/Science Fun Fair at the
> University of Minnesota, in St. Paul MN. This is an all-day event where
> a thousand or so elementary school kids come for "hands on"
> demonstrations of various applications of science, math, and physics.
> There are arc-n-spark shows, fun with chemistry, Lego contests, battling
> robots, bug races, etc.
>
> BEST (Bridging Engineering Science and Teaching www.bestoutreach.com)
> teaches kids how to build stuff; specifically their own EVs. They go
> from sketches, to small models, to go-kart-size vehicles.
>
> We recruit new students, teachers, and mentors for the program at the
> Fun Fair each year. Our booth typically has examples of large cars the
> kids built, their small cars (driven by batteries and toy motors),
> videos of our annual races, etc. One always-popular item is our "drag
> race" track, where they can test the small cars to see which one is
> fastest. This is always popular, but lots of these small cars get broken.
>
> My thought for this year is to prepare some kind of kit that the
> students can assemble right on the spot and race. This gives them some
> hands-on building, and should provide a continuing source of small cars.
> We could even sell the small car kits for a donation (money helps us
> keep BEST going).
>
> So here's the challenge: Given a baggie with a little toy motor and a
> couple AA cells, what would you put in the bag so elementary school kids
> can quickly build a little car with few or no tools?
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Lee,

How about a few pieces of corrugated plastic (recycled campaign posters) ?
They will work well with tape, paper clips, hanger bits, and most of the
other suggestions.

You might get them from the offices of your elected officials (usually, they
have to take down whatever they put up), its also an excuse to promote your
event to politicians: who would probably love the photo opp -- likely a
win-win situation.

You might consider tying a few hand-tools to a work-table with some twine:
awl, scissors, snips, pliers, needle-nose pliers, etc. As our shop teacher
used to say: use the right tools and you wont get hurt.

Great initiative,

-Nick
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Discussion Starter #17
Bryan Wilcox <[email protected]> wrote:
> It just occurred to me that old cd's are a good source for wheels. So are
> twist off bottle caps.

I did a little class for schoolkids once, and that's what I put in.
Plastic bottles for the bodies and the bottle-tops for bearings and
wheel hubs, CDs for wheels, also scrap cardboard and so on. I drilled
and glue-gunned stuff together the way they wanted it, the vehicles
turned out really different and imaginative, and most of them worked.
I thought that motorising them was going to be too difficult though,
so they were just gravity racers - the one that went the furthest
after going down the ramp would make the best EV.

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