Manatee Maniacs

Photo & Basic Info

We are the Manatee Maniacs from Timber Lakes Elementary in Orlando, Florida. Yes that’s right, we are crazy about manatees and that is why we named our car after these friendly sea cows. We used green friendly materials such as a Gatorade lid to hold the ping pong ball and recycled cardboard pieces for the manatee’s snout and tail. We also repurposed a yard sign for our solar panel supports. We positioned our solar panel perfectly to catch the sun rays.

Another unique feature of our car includes our 3D printed rear wheels and the ombre painting effect on our chassis. A challenge we encountered was we had to use exact measurements for our axles. So, we decided to add beads to help the wheels spin properly. Don’t forget to be “green”, not mean.

Team Manatee Maniacs
Inhabits Florida’s Coastal Waters

About the Car

About the Team

Car: Manatee Maniacs

  • School: Timber Lakes Elementary
  • Grade/Division: 5th Grade
  • Team Member: Lia Z. (5th Grade)
  • Team Member: Alisa E. (5th Grade)
  • Team Member: Paola K. (5th Grade)
  • Coach: Amy Tyler

Car Specifications

  • Car Size: Length 13 inches
  • Width 5 5/8 inches
  • Height 5 1/2 inches
  • Weight: 195.6 grams
  • Wheel Size: 1 1/2 inches front wheel
  • 2 1/4 inches back wheel
  • Gear Ratio: 1:6

List of Components

  • Ray Catcher Kit $41.35
  • 2 Gears $3.20
  • 2 Axles $2.50
  • 4 Wheels $ 3.20
  • 2 Balsa Wood Sheets $ 5.50
  • 4 Rubber bands $1.00
  • 1 Ping pong ball & Beads (free)
  • 4 Nylon Spacers $1.40
  • Battery Holder $ 1.35
  • 1 Eyelet 50 cent
  • Total Value $60.00

Lab Guide/Car Photos

Documenting & Building

Design Drawing #1
Cutting the Balsa Wood
Painting the Recycled Cardboard Pieces
Measuring & Cutting
Using Tinkercad to Design 3D Printed Pieces
Design Drawing #2
Rear Axle Assembly
Attaching Axle to the Chassis
Right Side
Left Side

Project Log

Tasks/Time Spent

2/23/24 Team Members Present: Lia, Alisa & Paola

We decided to name our car the Manatee Maniacs. We discussed how we wanted to design the car. We gather our materials. Time Spent-1 hour

3/1/24 Team Members Present: Lia, Alisa & Paola

Today, we painted the chassis using an ombre effect. We also talk about how we could transform our car into a manatee by using Earth friendly materials and 3D printing. Time Spent-1 hour

3/8/24 Team Members Present: Lia, Alisa & Paola

Today, we cut the chassis and assembled the wheels, gears, and axles. We used sandpaper on the axles. Then, we glued the motor to the chassis. Time Spent- 1 hour

3/29/24 Team Members Present: Lia, Alisa & Paola

Mr. Keeler helped solder the alligator clips to the wires. We glued our battery holder and our Gatorade lid to the chassis for our ping pong ball. Then, we attached our yard sign support panel pieces and the eyelet. Time Spent -2 hours

4/2/24 Team Members Present: Alisa & Paola

We checked the motor connections. Yay, our car is working! We added rubber bands to the wheels to provide traction for our car. Next, we conducted our battery power test outside on the basketball court. Our car ran very fast. Go Manatee Maniacs! Time Spent -1 hour

4/3/24 Team Members Present: Alisa & Paola

Today, we painted the recycled cardboard pieces to add to our car. We cut a snout and tail for our car. Then, we painted it gray. We also wrote our script for our vehicle features video. Time Spent-2 hours

4/4/24 Team Members Present: Alisa & Paola

Today it is sunny, So, we conducted our two solar power test today on basketball court. Our car ran slow on our solar power tests. We plan to make alterations to our wheels and axles before the competition. Time Spent-1 hour

Car Test

Test 1 Battery Power

Weather: Cloudy

Date 4/3 and Time 10:28

Distance Traveled: 30 feet

Time Elapsed: 6 seconds

Speed: 5 feet per second

Performance: fast and mostly straight

Test 2 Solar Power

Weather: Sunny

Date 4/4 and Time 10:56 am

Distance Traveled: 40 feet

Time Elapsed: 7 seconds

Speed: 2.3 feet per second

Performance: slow

Test 3 Solar Power

Weather: Sunny

Date 4/4 and Time 10:59 am

Distance Traveled: 45 feet

Time Elapsed: 11 seconds

Speed: 4.1 feet per second

Performance: slow

One thought on “Manatee Maniacs

  • I like the way you conceptualize your designs into reality.


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