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Carolina STEM Challenge®: Motors Kit

Product Highlights
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3D instruction
  • Meets the following NGSS PEs: HS-PS2-5 & HS-PS3-3
  • Includes FREE digital resources for teacher and student instructional support
(in stock)


Product Details

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

In this activity, 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 using copper wire, enameled wire, D-cell batteries, and ring magnets. During the Design Challenge, teams brainstorm ways that the motor design can be modified to generate the most revolutions per minute of the wire coil. Design teams build a new motor to improve the motor’s performance, incorporating their brainstorming ideas. They enter their engineered motors into a classroom competition, which can be scored using the Design Challenge Scoring Rubric.

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, 45 minutes. Research & Prototype, 90 minutes. Design Challenge, 60 minutes. Assessment, 30 minutes. Presentations, 60 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 Expectations

Crosscutting Concepts
Cause and Effect

Disciplinary Core Ideas
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 in order to maximize its rpm.
  • Communicate ideas about the process, design, and results in a clear, coherent presentation.

Prior 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.


What’s Included:
Needed But Not Included:
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