Force Field Analysis to Evaluate Air Racer Activity and Student Achievement
Learning Goals
I learned that . . .

Students will

  • Learn the scientific principles underlying an air racer
  • Build an air racer with accurate measurements
  • Demonstrate understanding of a simple systems approach to problem-solving – problem (input)-process (black box)- solution (output)
  • Recognize the importance of monitoring and evaluating solutions (feedback)
  • Use a six-step design processproblem-design brief-gather information-alternatives-solution-monitor & evaluate to improve their designs
  • Calculate the average speed of air racers
I would have learned more if . .
1. Air racer doesn’t fly if measurements are wrong 1. I knew how to make the air racer fly faster
2. If I made the racer heavy in the front, it prevents flipping 2. Didn't mess around, was not tired, and paid more attention
3. Bernoulli's principle is used in an air racer 3. Had more time to modify and test my air racer
4. Changing the scoop can make the racer fly better 4. Knew how to calculate speed
5. Making an air racer can be a fun activity 5. Didn't have so much difficulty calculating speed
6. There is a right way and a wrong way in measurement 6. Didn’t lose the race
7. I can make an air racer fly faster – by adding straws at the bottom, adding more scoops, spoilers, and so on 7. Didn't have difficulty with snapping rubber bands
8. Inaccurate measurements can be costly to the performance of my creation 8. I knew how to get clean edges on my air racer
9. If the measurement is not accurate, or the air racer isn’t put together right, the air racer does not fly right 9. My friends had helped me learn
10. I should always modify and evaluate my design because after adding one modification it went slow so I took it off 10. I knew that when you build something and then try to make it better, sometimes it might make it worse
11. Accurate measurements help not hinder  
12. Experimentation is the key to having a good project  
13. A motion sensor can be used to graph and find out how fast an air racer moves  
14. Measuring correctly through this very fun activity was cool  
15. Eventhough I messed up at first, I figured out what was wrong when I had to do it the second time  
16. Speed can be calculated using the formula speed = distance/time  
17. Pulling the rubber band can change the result of the race  
18. If you put the big and then small, your racer will go faster  
19. I could be more creative while designing an air racer  
20. Exact measurement was important