Cars of the Future!
The sixth grade Think Lab embarked upon a design adventure this fall to create efficient, futuristic cars using a new tool called Google Sketch Up. This free tool, created by Google Labs, is both exciting and challenging to use when designing complicated structures like cars. The sixth graders all enjoyed the chance to explore this tool, and we learned a lot about its capabilities and limitations (and ours!).

First, they used a brainstorming technique called SCAMPER (check it out at SCAMPER) to generate ideas, then they paired off to design their cars.

For example, here are Paul and Topher's SCAMPER ideas:

Substitute- 4 wheels for 1; solar panels for gas. Magnets for propulsion.

Combine- wheel and solar panels

Adapt- More flexibility for easier turns

Modify- electromagnets for more or less power

Put to other purposes - NA

Eliminate - 4 wheels

Reverse - NA

Next, we brainstormed ideas and sketched out designs. Then we jumped into Google Sketch Up and started exploring!

Check out one of the designs below created by Henry Jones using Google Sketch Up: