Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Judgement Day

Apparently, 5m wasn't the real aim, it was 3m. That's okay though because we built our car for distance. Distance is what we got alright. The first trial with the 12 inch balloon went about 15 meters and change. Our second trial with a different balloon, larger than the 12 inch balloon, carried the car passed 17m. Finally, just for kicks, we asked good ol' Aaron if we could borrow his HUGE balloon. Let's just say the Libermann record or 22m doesn't exist anymore. Our balloon car -- powered by Aaron's balloon -- travelled 28 meters*. The car went down the stairs, flipped upside down while continuing to roll, the down the next set of stairs where it flipped right side up and continued on it's merry way. Hence the reason for the asterisk, the stairs also helped us break the FLCHS distance record, which by the way could/would never be defeated because the balloon car race shall be discontinued. Good job to everyone on thier cars we had fun seeing what everyone else had done, and how they worked. It was fun and thanks Aaron and the stairs!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm (cont.)

Sorry, we know that these aren't the best video qualities but it at least shows that we did test our car. One trail run was unsucessful in surpassing the 12m aim while the other passed the 12m with ease.

Versic 1.5 (?)

Is our notes out of order? Possibly. Are the notes still valid though? Yep! Here are some notes about our Versic car 1.5:

The purpose and goal for our car is to travel a distance of 5m

1 shoebox
18 straws
A pair of toy truck wheels
1 glue gun
Two 12-inch size balloons

The way we planned to make our balloon car was out of Styrofoam. However, it did not really work due to the size of our wheels used (we only had 1 pair of wheels). What we also found difficult was mounting the balloon onto the car
We drew up a few models and designs for Versic Car 1.5. However, we did not make them due to the size of the wheels we had and the struggle to find a way to attach the balloon. Therefore, we decided to see what ideas we were able to cook up from other people’s sites, pictures of cars, and other balloon cars we saw. There were some ideas that we liked and disliked about other cars we saw, but still struggled trying to design the car on paper. Eventually, we just decided to find other materials we had in the house, and play around with them to make a structure and body for our car, which would be light enough to move the air being shot out of the balloon so that it would travel 5m.
Another idea that came to mind was surrounding the balloon with straws by taping it. After that was done, we would use a glue gun to attach the straw surrounding the balloon to the ca.
What we finally realize was that we need some sort of compartment to attach to the car and hold down the balloon.

as we were building the model of the car, we struggled to find a way on how we can attach the balloon to the car so that the balloon wouldn’t be touching the ground and so that the balloon wouldn’t fall off
Surprisingly our car looked somewhat like the blueprints. But some of the new things we added to the design made it look a lot different because of how we played around with our ideas and materials we thought would be useful
Even though we had the model of the car finished, we still met the same problem we had with our first few designs and that was how we were going to attach the balloon to the car. We tried multiple ways on how to get that balloon to stick to the car. We tried just taping the balloon to the top. Sadly, when we tested it, the balloon went flying off. I suggested the idea to buy a different shaped balloon that was skinnier. We were able to tape it down to the car, however the force of air coming out of the car, result in the car losing speed, power, time and distance.
Our excitement was crushed when the car was unable to reach the 5m mark, only hitting a maximum distance of 4.7m. There were some minor problems found with the car, such as the wheel alignment and some bodywork. However, the minor adjustments that were made had little impact on how the car traveled.

Versic car 1.5 did not work because...
we were not able to find a way to attach the balloon so that we would reach the 5m mark.
wheels were not properly attached
body could have been built better (e.g. the body was not straight due to the way we cut it)

Designing and building a car takes a lot of time, effort and focus. There a few that must take place for the car to be successful, preparation of materials, measurements, assembly and trials and error. However the key to making all of these steps work is being precise with these steps.

The Calm Before the Storm

Tonight was the final trial runs before the actually race tomorrow at school. The car is painted Versic colours (green and yellow, with some purple for jazz) and is ready to go, for what we hope is a sucessful run tomorrow.

Picture 1 is the trial chart.

Pictures 2-4 are pictures of the final Versic.Styrofoam Car 2.0

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Styrofoam Car 2.0

Today after school, we tried out our new ultra light Syrofoam car 2.0 . It travelled the 5m but we are definate that it could go faster and further. We forgot the glue gun and so used tape. It held together but the wheels were shaky and the axel slid back and forth. Also, we tried it out on the brick floor in the hallway so the bricks could have affected the speed and/or distance that the car could have travelled. We changed up the design a bit but still kept the styrofoam idea. The materials were:
  • a styrofoam container
  • 2 wooden BBQ sticks/ scewers
  • 4 gator board wheels (harder cardboard)
  • 1 straw
  • 1 regular sized ballon

We will try to upload a picture of our car later.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This was some sketches of our Styrofoam car. We would start from a rectangular block of styrofoam and carve down the sides untill we got our desired shape. Wooden skewers or axels would we ideal for the car as well as light weight sturdy wheels. We have yet to create these models but that shall happen in the upcoming future.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

OJ Car

This was our first attempt to our balloon car. It is created from:

  • orange juice container (box)

  • 2 wood skewers

  • 2 straws

  • 4 toy truck wheels

  • 1 balloon

This car made sense during construction because all the materials were light, besides the thoy wheels. The nozzle of the orange juice box acted as the exhaust for the flow of air to come our. This model of the OJ Car was modified; the original model only had one straw connecting the balloon to the nozzle. Unfortunately this caused the straw to touch the rear axel and prevented the car from moving. By placing another straw in the shape of a bridge, no longer would the first straw and the axel be touching. On the second attempt however, the toy truck wheels seemed to be too heavy not allowing the OJ Car to move more than a 1ft or 0.3048m. On our next model we might be able to find different wheels that would still allow the car to move freely and support the weight of the vehicle.