The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

JetToy Races Come to Town

Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say “JetToy races came to the primary hallway by way of my fourth graders” but let’s be honest: the title of this post is much catchier!

After a week of constructing and testing, it was time for my students to race their JetToy cars. We decided to have two different competitions. The first would be to see which car could go the greatest distance, the second to see which car was the fastest. To race the cars, we needed a long space. I had initially thought of using the gym, but the primary classes were eating lunch, so that was out. My classroom is too small, and our hallway is too busy with students and teachers coming and going. But the primary hall is fairly empty during their lunch, so I brought my class down there to race. After all the kindergarten, first, and second grade classes were through, the students blew up the balloons and set the cars on the starting line.

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For the distance challenge, the students had to decide how large to inflate their balloons and then decide the best way to aim and release them. I stood at the end of the hall to take a video. Some cars made it much further than we expected, others didn’t move at all, and some cars started straight then skewed off to the side.

For the speed challenge, I set a finish line of fifteen feet. The JetToy cars had to be able to cross the finish line in order to be considered for the fastest car. Once again, teams were allowed to inflate the balloons as large as they wanted. It was interesting to see what some of the teams did when they realised their cars hadn’t traveled very far the first time; some of the balloons were inflated so large they exploded! Unfortunately for that team, they were able to compete in the speed challenge because we didn’t have spare balloons.

Even though there was disappointment when cars didn’t go as far or as fast, all of the groups had a lot of fun constructing and testing the JetToys this week! After some discussion about who would be taking cars home, I pointed out that the supplies are all made of easily-obtained materials, and several students indicated an interest in making their own over the summer.

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