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Carolina STEM Challenge®: Motors Kit

Item # 750034 Exclusive This product is exclusive to Carolina Biological Supply. With Digital This kit includes 1-year access to digital resources including videos, digital teacher’s manuals, printable student guides, interactive lessons, editable assessment questions, and more.

Product Highlights

  • Design a simple motor from a D-cell battery, wire, and magnet, then use the engineering cycle to optimize the motor to improve performance.
  • Middle school/high school engineering design challenge with enough materials for 10 lab groups.
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Lab activity that designs a solution for an engineering problem to support the NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.



In stock and available to ship.

Students investigate how electric motors use electric and magnetic interactions to convert electrical energy to kinetic energy and address the engineering problem, "What changes can be made to make a simple motor spin faster?" Design teams are guided to build and test a simple electromagnetic motor prototype. During the Design Challenge, teams brainstorm ways to modify the motor design, performing trade-offs and adjusting parameters to maximize the revolutions per minute of the wire coil. Design teams build new motors to improve performance, incorporating ideas from brainstorming. The activity concludes with a classroom competition of their engineered motors.

Time Requirement
Total, 285 minutes. Teacher prep, 45 minutes. Prototyping and design challenge, 150 minutes. Design challenge presentation and assessment, 90 minutes.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectation(s)

Crosscutting Concepts
Cause and Effect

Disciplinary Core Ideas
HS.PS2.B: Types of Interactions

Science and Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Learning Objectives

  • Apply principles of electromagnetism to design, build, and evaluate a simple electric motor.
  • Refine and optimize the performance of the electric motor to maximize its rpm, varying parameters.
  • Learn and practice the engineering cycle to meet specific performance criteria.
  • Communicate ideas about the process, design, and results in a clear, coherent presentation.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Prior knowledge of magnets, magnetic fields, electromagnets, electric motors, and energy transformations are useful.

WARNING: Neodymium magnets have a very strong magnetic field. Use with caution. Seek immediate medical attention if magnet is swallowed.

  • This item is only available from Carolina Biological Supply Company.
Components Qty Included?
D-Cell Battery Holders 10 Included
D-Cell Batteries 10 Included
Ring Magnets 18 Included
Neodymium Magnets 14 Included
#16 Bare Copper Wire, 34 ft 1 Included
#20 Bare Copper Wire, 50 ft 1 Included
#28 Enameled Wire, 75 ft 1 Included
Sandpaper Squares 5 Included
#22 Nichrome Wire, 7 in 10 Included
Teacher's Manual and Reproducible Student Guide 1 Included
Document Camera or Overhead Projector Needed, Not Included
Metric Rulers 15 Needed, Not included
Timers 15 Needed, Not included
Wire Cutters 1 Needed, Not included
Scissors 1 Needed, Not included
Additional D-Cell Battery Holders (optional) Optional, Not included
Other Types of Battery Holders and Batteries (optional) Optional, Not included
Other Types of Wire (optional) Optional, Not included
Other Types of Magnets (optional) Optional, Not included

Carolina STEM Challenge

Carolina STEM Challenge® Physical Science Series

Engineer excitement with NEW kits for middle and high school physical science that:

  • Incorporate STEM concepts
  • Promote creativity, team building, and fun
  • Encourage interest in science

Easily integrate exciting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities into any physical science curriculum with Carolina STEM Challenge® Physical Science Series kits. They engage and inspire students with fun real-world design challenges in an exciting tournament-style format.

Hands-on activities center on engineering concepts and practices from the Next Generation Science Standards. Design teams design, build, test, and modify their prototypes to provide an innovative solution to the class challenge. These activities strengthen students’ critical-thinking and creative problem-solving skills, while encouraging creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.

Designed with ease of use in mind, Carolina STEM Challenge® Physical Science Series kits have the materials and information needed for classroom success:

  • Warm-ups and demonstrations
  • Science content
  • Literacy extensions
  • Notebooking options
  • Grading and scoring rubrics