Materials List: Gone with the Wind Energy:
Design-Build-Test Mini Sail Cars!

Each group needs:

  • 2 coffee stirrers, to serve as axles
  • 4 Life Savers® mints (ring-shaped hard candies), to serve as wheels
  • 8 plastic beads, such as pony beads
  • corrugated cardboard rectangle, 3 x 5 inches (7.5 x 12.5 cm); when cutting the pieces, make sure to orient the cardboard so the inner channels in the two-ply cardboard run parallel to the short side of the rectangle, so as to line up to hold the stirrers as axles for the car base
  • choice of mast material: 2-3 Popsicle sticks OR 1-2 wooden skewers
  • choice of sail materials: 12 x 12-inch (30.5 x 30.5-cm) piece of aluminum foil OR 12 x 12-inch (30.5 x 30.5-cm) piece of tissue paper OR 5 index cards
  • paper and pencils, for design drawings
  • Sail Car Test Table

To share with the entire class:

  • hot glue gun, glue sticks, scotch and duct tape, wooden skewers and scissors, for sail car construction
  • smooth floor or flat cardboard test track, 36 inches (~90 cm) long
  • colored tape, for setting up the track
  • box fan
  • stopwatch
  • projector and computer to show Renewable Energy: Sail Cars! Presentation, a PowerPoint® file
  • (optional) pennies taped together for car weight
  • (optional) stickers to decorate cars