_K'Nex Cars

K’Nex Vehicles

Time Frame: 1-2 days or more if desired

Stage 1 - Desired Results

Big Idea(s)
  1. Students will design a vehicle that can travel the farthest distance.
PA Core Standards / Next Generation Science Standards
T & E EducationScience EducationEnvironment & EcologyMathematics EducationComputer ScienceCEW
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2.  Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • CC.2.4.5.A.1- Solve problems using conversions within a given measurement system.
Essential Questions
  • What type of design will allow our group’s vehicle to travel the greatest distance?
Students Will KnowStudents Will Be Doing
  • Content specific vocab
  • variable
  • Distance, meters, centimeters, slope, speed
  • Steps of design process
*constructing a car out of K’Nex materials with 3-4 wheels*Testing vehicles from a common sloped area, measuring distance traveled*Recording testing, along with total distance traveled, and submitting to Seesaw app*Analyzing results, discussing, and implementing a variable to test the next day

Stage 2 - Evidence of Understanding

Assessments (Formative and Summative):Performance Task(s)
  • Informal Formative Assessments throughout unit (i.e. classroom observations, questioning)
Teacher will observe groups in the various stages of this performance task.  Especially listen to group discussions on analyzing results and developing a variable.  *Using an app like Seesaw allows you to see the testing and results of each group if you need multiple groups to test at the same time or if you have groups testing at multiple times.  You can review all of their videos.  They can even record their group discussions if you would like them to.
  • Students will work in small groups using K’Nex.  They can use kits or specific pieces.
  • Mission: To design a vehicle with 3-4 wheels that will travel the greatest distance after going down a common slope.
  • Following time to design and construct, students will test their designs, using iPads to record their tests.
  • Students measure the distance traveled in meters and centimeters.
  • Students can put this into Seesaw and add in the distance traveled. (This allows them to review the test as many times as they need to when discussing and analyzing results.)
  • Groups discuss what could be changed in order to gain greater distance based on results.  Remind groups to only make one change at a time in between testing to allow students to see how that change impacted results.
  • Groups make a change and test again.  Process repeats.  

Stage 3 - Lesson Learning Targets

Learning Activities: Learning targets are written from the students perspective. I can…
  • Identify
  • List/Tell
  • Describe
  • Solve
  • Convert
These should lead up to answering the Essential Question(s).
  • Identify a design that allowed the vehicle to travel the greatest distance.
  • Describe what variable our group chose and how making that change affected the results.
  • Convert cm to m if needed.


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