Force Field Analysis to Evaluate RC Car Activity and Student Achievement
Learning Goals
I learned that . . .

Students will

  • 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 process – problem-design brief-gather information-alternatives-solution-monitor & evaluate to improve their designs
  • Learn gaming strategies
  • Learn the benefits of working as a team
I would have learned more if . .
1. A narrow body could fit the RC Car 1. We had a good back-up plan for driver
2. Our design can be improved when we work as a team 2. I found the right group to work earlier
3. Our team's ideas to modify the chassis body by using foam improved our design 3. Had one consistent group to work with
4. Using the design process to improve car made the car stronger 4. We communicated better as a team
5. With my team's help I could stay focused 5. We found earlier that different RC cars drove differently because this was both + & -
6. Our team's strategy to find and use the best driver during competitions was good 6. We goofed around less and made more accurate measurements
7. Our team's strategy of delegating work to different team members worked well 7. We won more rounds by having only only one driver driving earlier
8. Measurement and teamwork are important 8. We argued less about our designs and "did” more because we could have got more work done
9. A metal square is useful for making accurate measurements 9. We had more time to test our second design before the tournament
10. Each member can contribute effectively 10. Paid more attention to other people’s strategies and learned from their mistakes
11. Monitoring and evaluating our design constantly improved our performance 11. Had enough time to test out our design multiple times
12. “Gaming” and “working the clock” was sometimes a useful strategy 12. I measured accurately the first time and didn't measure it a second time
13. Paying attention to the design brief can help – we used a wider scoop to collect golf balls 13. Our work output was not hindered by my teammates stubbornness
14. Each driver had their own specialty to add to the design 14. Other teams did not tease our team during the tournament. It was so unmotivating.
15. Looking out for mistakes helped - instead of going for 1 ball we went for 3 or 4 balls  
16. Our strategy of using the best driver last worked well even when we used every team member for driving earlier  
17. Working as a team helped because we put all our ideas into car that we wouldn’t have done otherwise  
18. Some collection mechanism's did better than others, for example, the grabber  
19. A team strategy was important  
20. Working as a team helped  
21. Modifying our car to collect more golf balls was a good strategy  
22. Although our first design of plough didn’t work well, our second claw design worked good  
23. Communicating ideas about our design was helpful  
24. Our strategy of getting the balls closer to our goal first and then going to the other side was good  
25. Our team's strategy of backing up into the balls helped us move them closer to the goal  
26. Working as a team helped because one designed, one built, and so on