Friction Cars

January 3, 2011
Friction Car Lesson Plans

There are some importation concepts to see
that are not particularly easy to see without trying out the building and testing.
Axles are measured by counting along a plate or beam and counting how many bumps long they are.

Axle connectors of gray or tan are friction less and the wheels move independently
and smoothly if the yellow plastic side of the wheel and not the rubber side of the wheels are next to the beams.
Using a single axle to connect two wheels has the wheels move together.
The axle can cause much friction against  the holes in the beams if the beams are not held exactly parallel.

The plate with the motorized simple machine sets work well as an inclined plane or ramp to run the cars down.

This version works well with a bit of spacing between the wheels and beams.
Measure the distance that the cars travels.
When I picked up the cars by the wheels (squeezing them close together) and placed the car at the top
there is so much friction that the cars went nowhere.  I wish I had taken pictures of the surprised faces.
There is very little obvious difference.  These are the kinds of observations that we hope the students will make.

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