This was an awesome project that was done in Honors Physics. All it is a hot wheel toy that we made into a rocket powered car. It is very easy to create. The Purpose of the project was to calculate the acceleration of the cars as they ran through the Photogates.
You will need:
-Any type of Hot Wheels toy car
-C rocket motor with ignition
-A straw or Pen Tube
-A 12-Volt Battery
For the Track:
- 16' x 4" x 3" Plank of Wood
- 12 gauge steel wire
- 2 L brackets
- Wood Screws
Step 1: Step 1
To construct the car we drilled a hole through the winshield and back window to be able to secure pen tube through the car. This pen tube is used to keep the car moving straight on the track by having the track wire run through it.
Then secure C Rocket Motor to the top of car using Zip Ties as well as Duck Tape to make sure the rocket does not move as it accelerates. Make sure the Duck Tape is not touching the wheels of the car or it may cause friction.
Car Weight (Mass):
Blue Bronco: 86.9 grams
Red Convertible: 66.1 grams
Step 2: Making the Track
Screw one L Bracket to each end of the plank of wood. Then secure the 12 Gauge Wire from one L Bracket to the other.
To attach the car, undo one side of the wire on the track and feed it through the Pen Tube then secure the wire back to the L Bracket.
Step 3: Igniting the Rocket Motor
To ignite the Rocket Motor, WITH THE CLIPS NOT ATTATCHED TO THE BATTERY, attatch 2 little alligator clips to the two wires of the ignitor on the Rocket Motor, then when ready attach the clips to the Battery.
The acceleration of the car was so intense that the force exerted from car as it hit the L Bracket at the end of the track would either bend the L Bracket or smash the car. The inertia from the sudden stop would send parts of the car flying even break the wire that was ment to hold the car straight down the track.
Step 4: Modifying the Track
To Modify the track, we used a PVC Fence to create walls to guide the car better. First we Cut the top cap off then cut a wall off to be able to run the photogates through it.
The distance between each photogate was 1 meter, what we thought would be far enough to collect the average speed or instantaneous speed.
We had to figure out a way to reduce the smoke around the photogates because the smoke kept triggering the photogates and screwing up the data.
But due to the quickness of the motor and the track not being long enough, we were not able to collect the speed or velocity of the car even after reducing the smoke issue.
Step 5: Ending Note
So in conclusion to this project, use a longer track, stronger wire, and move the photogates further apart. :)