For our “Fuel” class, our project for Unit two was to create, out of recycled materials, a small energy efficient car.

The purpose of this piece was to draw attention to every aspect of an energy efficient car. Our class even went to Grossinger, a car dealership in Lincoln Park, Chicago. We asked the employees questions concerning fast yet fuel efficient cars.

One of the most important things I learned was that aerodynamics (the way a car is shaped and how the air travels around the car) are very important in fuel efficiency. I also discovered that putting more weight in the back of a car helps it to stay balanced and even go a little faster.

Throughout this project, I’m proud of a few things. One of them being that I wasn’t afraid to start over completely after visiting Motorsports at UIC with my class and asking more questions about aerodynamics. There, I learned about how long the process of making a real car actually takes and how much work and thought goes into that process.

I am actually proud of my finished product, because I never knew I could make something like this out of completely recycled material.

1. Did you succeed in creating a rubber band car that traveled 3 meters within the track?  If so, how far did it travel?

Yes, my car went 4 meters.

2. Did you negotiate any material trades with other cars? How did that process work for you?

I talked with my peers to see what worked for them. I used some of their ideas and they incorporated mine.

3. Did you decide to revise your original design or request additional materials while in the construction phase? 

In the beginning stage, my car didn’t have a body. I decided to add one, made out of plastic, during the middle of the process.

4. If you could have had access to materials that were different than those provided, what would you have requested?                          

I felt that I had all the necessary materials.

5.. Do you think that engineers have to adapt their original plans during the construction of systems or products? 

Yes. I was building my car on an extremely small scale, and even then I had to change things around.

6. If you had to do it all over again, how would your design plan change?  

I might have made my car heavier, and used different wheels. However, we were only allowed to use CDs as tires.

7. What designs did your other classmates do that you would have liked to do?

I liked my own idea a lot. However, I enjoyed looking at the different versions that my classmates did.