Sanity Savers, STEM Edition: Turkey Racers

Presented by National Grid

Written By Dan Walsh
STEM Educator

Supplies ideas:

Balloons, string, scissors, tape, construction paper, straws, two chairs


10 minutes  

Academic Subjects:


This lesson supports the following standards:    

ETS1.A: Defining Engineering Problems – A situation that people want to change or create can be approached as a problem to be solved through engineering. Such problems may have many acceptable solutions. (secondary to KPS2-2)

Directions for Turkey Racers

To celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s put a spin on the holidays with science! This is great for the whole family to try. Each participant will be creating their own turkey racer to see who is the fastest.  
1.)  Begin by designing your turkey racer out of construction paper.
2.)  Using scissors, cut your turkey racer out.
3.)  Tie one end of a piece of string to a chair, then run the string to another chair about five feet away. Don’t tie the piece of string yet.
4.)  Cut the piece of string, add a straw to the string, then cut the string. Tie the string off onto the other chair.
5.)  Tape your racer to the straw. On the opposite side of your racer, place a tape ball. Attach your racer to the tape ball.
6.)  Blow up a balloon, but do not tie it off. Attach your balloon to the tape ball, and once all the racers are ready, count down, and let the balloon go!

Turkey Racers Vocabulary

Renewable energy– is energy that is collected from a natural resource that cannot run out such as water or wind power. The turkey racers used renewable energy to zoom across the string.
Wind power– Power that is obtained by harnessing the energy of wind.
Trajectory– the pathway of a flying object. The trajectory of the turkey racers follows your piece of string.

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