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Clothespin Cars

This week in NHCS's afterschool program, "Story Scientists" heard a chapter of Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, which won of the 1995 Newbery Medal. In this story a young girl is traveling across the country by car with her eccentric grandparents. We listened to a part of the road trip where the grandfather was trying to help a motorist in distress fix her car. He did this by pulling out all the "snakes", which were really the engine hoses. This book certainly has its funny moments, but it's a sad and serious story about a girl searching for answers to very important questions.

We learned about friction as we fashioned button wheels for a clothespin car. Wheels were held together with twist ties inside an axle made from a short segment of drinking straw.
The mechanisms were then glued strategically into the clothespin. It looks to be a simple car - but it was really tricky to be sure, with each step, that the wheels would spin freely.  
We ended our hour with races down an inclined plane!

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