Battery Car Race - Grade 6 and Grades 7/8Background
The Battery Car Race is a STEM based design and race competition for student built battery powered model cars. It is sponsored by Mr. Rich Gebrosky, retired gifted support teacher from Ingomar Middle School. The Battery Car Race is organized into two events. One race is for students in sixth grade (some fifth graders may be considered for participation), and a separate race is for students in seventh and eighth grades. Multiple entries from each school may compete in the Battery Car Race. It is recommended to work in teams of two to four.Race DatesThe 6th Grade Battery Car Race is scheduled for January 29, 2019 at the Duquesne University ballroom, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Design documents must be emailed as a PowerPoint attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3:00pm on Friday, January 26, 2018 in order to be allowed to race.The 7th/8th Grade Battery Car Race is scheduled for January 30, 2019 at the Duquesne University ballroom, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Design documents must be emailed as a PowerPoint attachment to email@example.com by 3:00pm on Friday, January 26, 2018 in order to be allowed to race.Download the specific grade-level rules by clicking the links below:
Battery Car Construction Rules
Each entry in The Battery Car Race must use an official motor and the AA battery holder, which can be purchased as a kit from Mr. Gebrosky, or ask your GOAL teacher. The motor and battery pack must not be modified or tampered with in any way. Cars will be powered by a maximum of two, “AA” batteries.
Each team must also enter a complete design document created using PowerPoint. These PowerPoint documents are to be sent ELECTRONICALLY to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 3:00 p.m. on the Friday before the race.
A complete design document contains the following. It may require more than one slide for some of these categories.These are MINIMUM numbers of PAGES/SLIDES.
Page or Slide #1 Title Page (see example for contents)
Page or Slide #2 Design Drawing - Sketch of the car design (computer generated or scanned sketch).
Page or Slide #3 Materials List (be specific about sizes and quantities - use METRIC units)
Page or Slide #4 Step-by-step and numbered assembly procedures
Page or Slide #5 A description of one performance-related creative feature of the car.
Page or Slide #6 A description of one obstacle or problem encountered and how it was solved.
Page or Slide #7 Team picture (all team members) with the car plus three (3) other photo’s of the car under construction.
Download a sample Design Document by clicking this link: Sample Battery Car Design DocumentDownload the specific grade-level Design Document Rubrics by clicking the links below:
Conduct of the Race
The race length is approximately 20 meters, with one-meter wide lanes. The race will be held on the hardwood dance floor of the Duquesne University Ballroom.
There will be a designated Car Repair Area. There will be several tables set up with glue guns, soldering guns, etc. There will also be floor covering to protect from spills. NO GLUING, SOLDERING, ETC. MAY BE DONE ANYWHERE EXCEPT THE REPAIR AREA.
To start a race, the car will be turned on and one team member will hold a piece of wood (provided) called a starting block in front of the car on the edge of the finish line. When the start signal is given the wood will be lifted and the car will start on its own. False starts may result in disqualification from a heat. One member of the team must wait at the finish line to catch the car to prevent it from being damaged.
Team members may NOT accompany the car in its lane during the race. The only person on the track between the start and finish is the starter. Team members may not push the car or give any physical assistance on the start. They may not change the car's mechanical/electrical characteristics (e.g. shift a transmission) after the start of a heat. Physical assistance, unauthorized repairs, unauthorized people in the lane, or unsportsmanlike conduct will result in disqualification from a heat, as determined by the Race Officials.
One team member must be present at the finish line to stop the car. The car must remain in its lane at the finish line until the order of the cars can be established. Teams that leave the finish line prematurely or miss subsequent heats may be disqualified.
All cars will be connected to a guide wire consisting of 20# test fishing line. The line will be a fixed height off of the track, 1.5 centimeters, and cannot be adjusted up or down. If a car comes off of the guide wire or if it interferes with another car, it will be disqualified from that race.
Determination of Winners
This is a performance event; the fastest car over the 20 meters will be declared the winner. All races will be run in heats. There will be preliminary heats where each car will run three trials for time. The 16 fastest cars will then move onto the semi-finals where they will race, head-to-head in double elimination until there are four cars remaining.
The four remaining cars will race in the finals, which are double elimination until the winners can be determined.
All participants will be given a certificate and all team members on the top four teams will receive medals. There will also be a design award and a fastest car award given.
1. The hardest part of the design and construction of the car is the transmission. Most cars employ direct
drive, gear drive, or pulley drive.
2. Remember, the floor of the Duquesne Ballroom is wood that has been waxed and can be slippery.
Use wheels that will give you the best traction.
3. Bring a repair kit with you the day of the race. It may help for last minute repairs.
4. Alligator clips or spade connectors are good are good for connecting the battery pack to the motor.
5. Other materials you might need at your home school include:
Soldering gun solder
Hot glue gun balsa wood
Plexiglas axle material (skewers, metal rods, etc.)
2 liter soda bottles craft sticks