Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hot Wheels STEM Lesson Plan – Introduction

I teach high school physics and I use Hot Wheels all the time.  They lend themselves so well to the motion and energy concepts.  On one of the first few days of school I have a PowerPoint presentation that I go through with the students introducing physics and our use of Hot Wheels.  After the presentation, I bring out the cars and let the students "shop" for a car.  They get to pick out a car from my collection (to be returned at the end of the year) that will be theirs for the rest of the year to use in all our Hot Wheels labs.  I tell the students that they can bring in a car of their own if they want to replace the car they choose, but make all of them choose a car. (Many that say they are going to bring in a car of their own, never actually do, so that's why I make them all choose a car on the first day)

To keep track of the cars I have some small plastic containers that I ordered from HERE that I put the students names on using labels.

Here is the Power Point presentation that I use to introduce physics and Hot Wheels.  Anywhere I've use "physics" the word "science" would work just as well.

 In this first slide I introduce several of the concepts that we will be covering in class. In the next several slides I show them some video clips of some amazing Team Hot Wheels stunts.

Here is the video clip from this slide.

Here is the next slide.

Here is the video clip from this slide.

Here is the next slide.

Here is the video clip from this slide.

Here is the next slide.

Here is the video clip from this slide.  For me, the point of this clip is to help inspire and motivate my students.

The next slide has several quotes from the previous video clip.  We spend some time discussing some of them.  Depending on how much time you want to take, you could even have the students spend a few minutes picking one or two of the quotes and writing a response to them.

In addition to our Hot Wheels labs, we do several design projects.  In this slide I list several of the projects that we will be doing throughout the year.

Here is the next slide, tying in the first slide where I said what physics was.

With this next slide I explain that we will be using Hot Wheels to help us learn many of the concepts listed.  I explain how they are going to "shop" for a car and that it will be their car for the rest of the year.

At this point I bring the out the cars and the kids get to do a little car shopping.  I do tell them not to kick the tires though! :)

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