Wonderstruck Fan-Powered Cars Workshop

Wonderstruck Ltd

A fantastic team-based, practical, competitive activity.

This workshop involves participants working in small teams (usually of three) to build and improve a model car powered by an electric motor and fan.  

The session starts with an introduction to the science behind the activity.  We can use the Wonderstruck Hoverchair and some of our finest alcohol powered rockets to demonstrate Newton's Third Law of Motion.  We also cover energy transformations, force and acceleration, friction and the idea of fair tests and the purpose of taking multiple results and averaging.

In their teams, participants first build a prototype car to a set design.  They test this car by timing it over a fixed distance and calculating the average speed.  Once they've done this three times (or more if they have time) and averaged their results they can start to modify their car by trying different wheels, different battery packs, propellers etc.

The whole session ends with an exciting time trial race off to find the ultimate champions (winners cups are supplied!).

We can run this workshop with up to 600 participants and with age groups from 5 to adult - although preferably not at the same time.

The standard version of the workshop takes about 2 hours with 150 participants, slightly longer with larger groups.

We also offer a whole day version of the workshop for older/more able participants where teams are equipped with budgets and get to design their Mark 2 cars from scratch, designing and building their own car bodies, experimenting with multiple motor set ups, novel wheel arrangements etc.


Expected outcomes

Specific learning outcomes are differentiated according to the age group participating in the workshop.  With very young groups, for example, we may just focus on building the simple circuit and the idea of the propeller on the car producing a 'push' to make the car move.

In general, the activity involves:

  • Working with simple circuits
  • Understanding the relationship between forces and motion
  • Understanding that friction always acts to slow things down
  • Understanding the basic idea of Newton's Third Law of Motion
  • Using the relationship between speed, distance and time to calculate average speed

We're happy to emphasise particular topic areas to tie in with your teaching - just let us know!


To book this activity, please contact:
Peter Wright

Brandize Hill Farm
EX20 3HW
United Kingdom

The STEM Directory is provided as a service to support you in finding enrichment opportunities. The activities are offered by external providers and are not endorsed by STEM Learning. We are not responsible for their content or delivery.

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