Magazine article Technology and Children

Watch It Go!

Magazine article Technology and Children

Watch It Go!

Article excerpt

Grade level: 3 + Time: 45-50 min.


Those empty film canisters are back again, only this time they can become racing cars instead of rockets. The chemical energy released by adding warm water to seltzer tablets is fast, fizzy, and fun to watch. You can teach your students a lot of science and math in this technology education activity. Students will learn how to design a car and explore ways to make an efficient race car. This activity is best done outside or on a vinyl floor where the water/seltzer mix will not be a problem to clean up or contain.

Design Problem:

Design, build, and race a film canister car.


* Film canisters (the lids must fit inside the canister - not over the top)

* Seltzer tablets

* Wheels/axles (make your own or use wheels from kits such as Lego(TM) or K'NEX(TM))

* Hot Glue Gun

* Scissors, tape, rubber bands, colored markers

* Water (warm water works best but cold water will also work)

* Flat board, cafeteria tray, or large piece of cardboard


1. Design a car using the film canister as the body. Label the parts of your car. Be sure that wheels and axles are added to the outside of the body without piercing the canister in any way. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.