Prototyping

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today was all assessments all day, but after school the Physics Olympics team was working on prototyping electric cars for the next meet. This is one student and a prototype (we usually prototype with K’nex). Every February the electric car event specifies motors, voltage, size, and other aspects of the car, and scoring criteria. This year the goal is to build an efficient, fast car, and the score will be based on the time to go a specific distance and the total voltage of the batteries. Specifically,

Score = 100/(V x t)
where V is the magnitude of the sum of the potential difference ratings on all batteries in circuit, and t is the magnitude of the photogate time in seconds.

So, we want lightweight, low friction, one 1.5-volt cell, and it is important that the car go straight (not veering by more than 1.5 m over a 10-m track). We’ll work on perfecting the design over break and in the new year.

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