Gravity Cruiser

Student teams design and construct a vehicle that is powered by gravity. A weighted lever connected to an axle by string rotates on its fulcrum; as the weight descends it causes the axle attached to the string to rotate, propelling the cruiser forward. Concepts explored include potential and kinetic energy, friction, inertia, momentum, diameter, circumference, measurement, graphing, and constructing a prototype.

Provided by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, A World In Motion (AWIM)



Students explore the relationship between force and motion and the effects of weight and lift on a glider. Students learn the relationships between data analysis and variable manipulations, and the importance of understanding consumer demands. The glider activity culminates in a book-signing event where each design team presents its prototype and the class presents its manuscripts to Mobility Press "representatives" and members of the local community.

Provided by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, A World In Motion (AWIM)


 Can Crusher

In the interest of maintaining a healthy environment, students working in engineering design teams receive a request to design and build a can crusher for eC2 Inc., (Environmental Can Crushers, Inc.) - a fictitious toy company looking to optimize the business of shipping cans to recycling centers. Engineering design teams investigate and explore the workings of a can crusher using simple machines such as levers, wheels & axles, pulleys, incline planes, and screws. Final student products must meet design specifications outlined throughout the challenge.

Provided by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, A World In Motion (AWIM)



Students make balloon-powered toy cars that meet specific performance criteria like; travels far, carries weight, or goes fast. Jet propulsion, friction, air resistance and design are the core scientific concepts students explore in this challenge. Working in design teams, students will build and test model Jet Toys using different nozzles, and collect and analyze data to understand the effect of nozzle size on the performance of the toys. They will create other designs and test them, then give a formal presentation of their final Jet Toy designs.

Provided by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, A World In Motion (AWIM)

 Fuel Cell

Using a PEM Fuel Cell as the primary power source, student teams design, build, and test prototype vehicles which they must then present to an audience. The AWIM Fuel Cells Challenge requires students to explore physical science concepts such as force, friction and energy transformations as well as environmental concepts such as green design, and incorporates mathematics concepts as student teams collect, analyze and display data.

Provided by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, A World In Motion (AWIM)

 Steel Can Rover

The Steel Can Rover is a toy vehicle presented by the fictitious toy Company Earth Toy Designs. The engineering and design of the toy is incomplete and suggestions for its use are requested from student design teams using common materials. Student teams are challenged to focus on understanding the relationship between the number of wind-up turns given to the rubber band and the distance the Rover travels. They will also investigate how this relationship is affected by the thickness of the rubber band and the amount of weight that should be used. Teams will test and compete with their designs, followed by formal presentations.

Provided by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, A World In Motion (AWIM)

 Solar Car

Student teams will construct a Solar Powered Car using a predetermined kit. Each group will measure the speed of the car at different solar panel angles, track and record the speed of the car at different distances. Concepts explored will include voltage, current, solar power, motor and car body design.

Provided by San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)


Students explore the world of fragrance and flavors through several hands-on activities. Fragrance is studied through its many applications ranging from household products all the way to fine fragrance. Similarly, the students study flavors by looking at its components and what influences the development of flavors. Concepts explored include "decoding the olfactory," fragrance development, flavor profiling, product marketing."

Provided by Firmenich


Student teams build robots and use software to plan, test and modify sequences of instructions from a variety of real life robotic behaviors. Students gather and analyze data from sensors using data logging functionalities such as graph view.

Provided by LEGO® MINDSTORMS®, and Patriots Technology Training Center

Tracking & Measurement

NSBE measures each seek camper’s pre/post program knowledge with brief tests developed for each grade. The tests consist of:

  • Open-ended questions about student’ interest in math and science and knowledge of what engineers do, to begin a profile of student participants.
  • Questions based on math and concepts that students should have learned in their previous school year, to assess participants’ academic standards
  • Questions based on the SEEK program curriculum (multiple choice and vocabulary matching questions) to serve as an indicator of the academic impact of the program

The research will allow NSBE to create a valuable academic profile of SEEK campers’ STEM abilities and interest in engineering, as well as gauge any impact on their academic performance.

The curriculum provided by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). SAE International's
A World In Motion® (AWIM) is a teacher-administered, industry volunteer-assisted program that brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to life in the classroom for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. Benchmarked to the national standards, AWIM incorporates the laws of physics, motion, flight and electronics into age-appropriate hands on activities that reinforce classroom STEM curriculum.


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