Empowering Student Innovation for a Clean Energy Future

Christmas Crushers

Team Information

Santa’s Sled
Car Name: Santa’s Sled
Team Name: Christmas Crushers
School Name: NSU University School
Team Members Names: Harper R. and Shivam K.

Design Documentation

Side View
Front View
Back View
Side View
Top View
Bottom View
Top of View without Solar Panel
Front View without Panel

Project Log

DateHoursTasksObstacles EncounteredModifications to Car
11/171Learned about the competition. Looked at some sample cars. Drew the design for my car.
12/11Cut the front of the piece of balsa wood for my body into a triangle hoping to improve the aerodynamics. I chose my wheels and axels.Cut the car body.
12/81Decided on black gears. I am putting a larger one on the motor and a smaller one on the axel. I decided on a long white panel instead of the blue one because the white one is lighter. I picked a small black binder comb to keep it on the guide wire.
12/151Worked some more on my plan to decide where to put everything on the body. I used a t-square to draw lines on the body so that my wheels and axels would be straight and parallel. 
1/51I marked and hammered the gear onto the back axel and added the spacers and wheels. I marked the center and glued on the back wheels. I used a hammer to put together the front wheels with the spacers. I did not have time to glue them on.
1/121I glued on the front wheels. I also worked on my circuit today.Glued on front wheels
1/191I finished my circuit (battery pack with switch connected to the motor). I glued on the battery pack and the motor. I got to test it for the first time in the hall on battery. It did not go straight. I had to adjust the wheels by heating the glue with the heat gun and moving the axel a little bit. My teacher is soldering the wires to the motor and alligator clips before next class.Glued on battery pack and motor.
1/261I added supports to hold up the solar panel and pieces of balsa wood to the sides to improve aerodynamics. I put cotton in the front to secure my ping pong ball. solar panel supports, cotton ball in ball holder place
2/21I put on the black binder comb. I decided to put one on each side to keep it balance and so I could run on either side. I put on the panel and tested it outside. It ran, but it seemed slower than the others.Added black binder comb for guide wire. Put on solar panel.
3/21I decided to try to improve the speed by changing the gears. I have to change the wheels, too, because the gears I chose will only fit on the thin axels.The car did not go fast enough.Decided to change the wheels from four large wheels to four small white wheels. Also, I am changing the black gears to white ones. The small one on the motor and the medium sized one on the new axel.
3/91Working on the new wheels and gears. Finished with motor and back wheels and axel.New back wheels with white gear on. Motor now has small white gear.
3/161Front wheels on.Front wheels on.
3/231Tested car and it is not going straight.Tried to adjust wheels so that it would go straight.
4/41Tested car outside on solar panel.Car is going slow and turning to the right.
4/61I tested my car outside on panel.
4/71Tested my car outside on panel.
4/19.5Ran my car on solar panel
4/201School competitionThe wheels fell off. I have to put them back on and make sure it is going straight.

Design Drawings

Design Drawings: Top View

Design Drawing: Side View

Finished Car Specifications

Car Size with PanelLength: 33.0 cmWidth: 20.8 cmHeight: 9.5 cm
Weight with Panel 136.3 g
Wheel sizeFront wheels: 3.6 cmBack wheels: 3.6 cm
Gear Ratiomotor gear: axle gear
14 : 48 =
7 : 24

Materials Used

MaterialApprox. Cost
Solar Made solar panel20.99
small white gear (from motor mount pack)2.50
wheels, tires, axles, axel gears – Solar Made accessory bag4.50
balsa wood2.31
spacers for bearings (4)0.26
battery holder with switch3.85
pieces of black binder comb, 1 inch0.07
masking tape
hot glue

Test Results / Trial Runs

Test Runs 1 – date: 4/4/2022
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
We ran it on panel when the sun was out.

Observations of results: The car is going too slow. It is also going a little to the right.
Any recommendations for improvements: I am going to try to change the gears so that I have a small gear on the motor and a medium gear on the axel.
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
1 – panel9.514.51.53
2 – panel10.214.51.42
Test Runs 2 – date: 4/6/2022
Weather conditions: Cloudy
We had to run on battery.

Observations of results: It is running much better with the new gear ratio. It is running straight now too.
Any recommendations for improvements: I have to try it on panel now.
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
1 – battery6.614.52.20
2 – battery6.814.52.13

Test Runs 3 – date: 4/19/2022
Weather conditions: Sunny and clear
All my runs were on Panel today

Observations of results: It is going straight but I have to make sure I set it up straight. This is a shorter track.
Any recommendations for improvements: I am going to try it on a longer track.
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s

Test Runs 4 – date: 4/19/2022
Weather conditions: Sunny and Clear
Ran on Panel

Observations of results: I ran it on the longer track and it went straight.
Any recommendations for improvements:
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
Test Runs 5 – date: 4/20/2022
Weather conditions: Partly Cloudy
We ran on both Panel and Battery depending on if the sun was behind the clouds

Observations of results: The wheels fell off now my car is turning right and I think the guide wire is rubbing. I wasn’t able to do my 3rd time trial.
Any recommendations for improvements: I am going to move the front wheel on the left down to try to straighten it. I will try a different size guide wire guide.
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
1 – panel7.43202.70
2 – battery8.75202.29

Vehicle Features Video

Additional Information

One thought on “Christmas Crushers

  • WOW! This is so in-depth! Your design is unique and makes it stand apart. Great job on the diagrams, logs/charts, and this webpage!


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