The NSU Gang

Team Information

The Pink Shark

Car Name: The Pink Shark
Team Name: The NSU Gang
School Name: NSU University School
Team Members Names:
Hannah L (5th grade), Ava B (5th grade), Ellie W (4th grade)

Design Documentation

Top View without Solar Panel

Side View #1

Side View #2

Back View

Front View

Special Feature of Car – Our Aerodynamic front!

Special Features of Car – The Wire that makes our Solar Panel Adjustable…Also, our Front-Wheel Drive, Small-to-Large Gear Ratio!

Project Log

DateHoursTasks / Work DoneObstacles EncounteredModifications to Car
8/231Drew a picture of what we thought the car would look like. Chose our materials,
8/301Drew out axel lines on car body then cut out body shape.Messed up the axle lines and had to redo them.Cut out body shape and drew lines for axles on car body.
9/61We put together the front and back axles and wheels. We chose to use small white wheels with rubber tread. We put a gear on the front axle, bearings, and wheels. We put just bearings and wheels on the back axle.
9/131Glued front axle on carIt was hard getting the axles on straight.Front and back axles are on car body.
9/201Glued back axle on car. Started working on circuit wiring for the motor
9/271We put alligator clips on our wires and made a circuit that included the battery pack with switch to the motor and back to the battery pack.
10/41Glued motor and battery pack on car.
10/111Put on the ball holder.
10/181Was able to run car in hall. It was fast but turning left. Also, wheels move left to right. There is too much room between the bearings and the wheels.Car is turning left.
11/301Adjusted Wheels, Adjusted straws so wheels can not move left or right, cut eyelid, and did battery.Still turning left.
12/71Put on guide so that our car could run on guide line.
12/141fixed gear and front wheelGear and Front wheel
1/21reglued battery packBattery Pack would not open cause we accidentally glued it on.Battery,Wheels,Straws,Eyelid, and Battery.
1/41Attached Motor, Made and attached ping pong ball holder, attached battery pack, and finished back wheels.Motor, Ping Pong Ball Holder, Battery, Back wheels
1/111Cut wire and Re-attached MotorWire and Motor
1/181Decorated and attached front, cut and decorated pieces of wood that hold up solar solar panelWood and Decoration
1/251Tested Car and was very strongToo little sun to try multiple times.
2/291Tested Car. It ran pretty good but it wrecked into the wall and the motor came off.Had a little crash
3/91Ran our car outside on both battery and solar panel. The car is running fast but turning left. Car is turning Left
3/131We got our fastest time today. It was 2.71 seconds. That may be the fastest right now at our school. Sometimes the car goes straight but most of the time it turns left and goes into the other lane. Started working on webpage.Sometimes the car goes straight but most of the time it turns left.
3/141/2Worked on webpage
3/151/2Worked on webpage
3/161We ran our car outside today. It really turned. We will have to try to fix it a different way. Worked on webpage.The car is STILL turning left most of the time.
3/171/2Worked on webpageWork on webpage is going too slow
3/181/2Worked on webpage
3/191Worked on webpage.
3/201/2Worked on webpage
3/211/2Worked on webpage
3/222We added a wire that would allow us to angle the solar panel towards the sun. It also kept the panel from moving. Worked on webpage and added a support for the solar panel.The solar panel was moving when the car ran. Also, we couldn’t keep the panel facing the sun with it was to the left or right.Added a support made out of easily bendable wire to hold the solar panel steady and facing the sun.
This is what we worked on each day!

Design Drawings

Design Drawing: Top View

Design Drawing: Side View

Final Car Specifications

Car Size with PanelLength: 26 cmWidth: 13 cmHeight: 10 cm
Weight with Panel 270.9 g
Wheel SizeFront wheels: 35 cmBack Wheels: 35 cm
Gear Rationmotor gear: axel gear
10 : 60
= 1 : 6

Materials Used

ItemApprox. Cost
Pitsco Ray Catcher Solar Panel (3V)38.25
small white gears, wheels and axels3.99
Pitsco Motor (3V)5.25
balsa wood3.99
spacers for bearings (4)2.31
battery pack with switch0.26
piece of black binder comb to hold guide wire0.07
alligator clips (2)0.14
piece of aluminum wire0.25
electrical wire0.02
hot glue
Recycled materials:
cup for ball holder
TOTAL COST: Around 58.38

Test Results / Trial Runs

Test Runs 1 : 3/9/24

Weather conditions: Mostly Sunny
Ran on panel and battery

Observations of results: Turning Left

We are going to try to nudge the wheels to get it to go straight.

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S
1 Battery12.72201.57
2 Panel16.75201.19
3 Panel22200.91

Test Runs 2 – date: 3/13/24

Weather conditions: Partly Cloudy
Ran on panel and battery

Observations of results: turned left

Any recommendations for improvements: the car did this and we think this.

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S
1 -Panel7.15172.38

Test Runs 3 – date: 3/16/24

Weather conditions: Sunny
Ran on battery

Observations of results: turned left

We keep trying to fix the wheels so that the car goes straight but it keeps turning. We may take the wheels off and put them back on straight.

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S
1-Battery 9.97202.01

Video of Our Car Running

Car Features Video

Additional Information

Drawing of Our Original Car Idea

Electrical Schematic: This is our schematic of the electrical circuits. It is the same DC motor in both drawings.

2 thoughts on “The NSU Gang

  • Good problem solving on fixing the veering. It is great that you stuck to it and kept trying.


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