Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Classroom ideas?

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
Verbatim input from my daughter and her friends (2nd graders):

* It doesn't smell like other cars
* Not using gas means that we'll save more dolphins (living by a gulf coast beach, this may be a local thing)
* No noise means you can hear the music better
* It's so low, could it drive under a tractor trailer?
* It doesn't get hot like normal cars
* It's reeeaally pretty
* When will Tesla make trucks, 'cos all the big ones really stink?
* When everyone drives electric cars will they raise the speed limit?

I like the last one best....:biggrin:
 

JRod0802

Member
Dec 15, 2010
675
22
Boston, MA
I'm sure you were planning on doing this anyway, but it might be a better idea to focus on the good of electric cars as opposed to the bad of ICE cars. If I was the parent of one of those kids, I wouldn't be very happy if my kid came home from school and said that our family car was evil and refused to ride in it because it was killing dolphins. I'd be fine, though, if my kid came home and said that electric cars are awesome and that s/he really wants one.
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,908
1,025
SF Bay Area
Well, I'm a science guy and was interested in such things as even a little kid. I'd think it would be a great opportunity to expose the kids to the wonders of electricity and magnetism. There are lots of fun little demos one can do with permanent and/or electro-magnets. Kids (and adults) can be easily amazed by these invisible forces. These forces can then be controlled to make an awesome sports car.

Once in 4th grade I brought some cheap ceramic magnets from RadioShack to school, and all the other kids thought they were magic.
I said, "No not magic... mag-nets..."
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,740
Columbia River Gorge
Well, I'm a science guy and was interested in such things as even a little kid. I'd think it would be a great opportunity to expose the kids to the wonders of electricity and magnetism. There are lots of fun little demos one can do with permanent and/or electro-magnets. Kids (and adults) can be easily amazed by these invisible forces. These forces can then be controlled to make an awesome sports car.

Once in 4th grade I brought some cheap ceramic magnets from RadioShack to school, and all the other kids thought they were magic.
I said, "No not magic... mag-nets..."

I was the little girl who would ask for the [chemistry set | erector set | magic set] from Santa and always ended up with the EasyBake Oven stuff. Don't get me wrong, that was fun, too (amazing what you can make!). So I'm glad to be the one bringing the car and answering their questions.

I really appreciate all the feedback here (and hope there is more yet to come). I'll send a link to the forum thread to their teacher. Tesla Los Angeles just gave me enough brochures to wallpaper my house. Or hand out to all the kids.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
When I spoke at a local car club (all adults though) Tesla gave me a pack of about 20 keyfobs to hand out along with the brochures. My nephew got the last one and pronounced it the best gift he had "ever received in his whole life". Could make good prizes if Tesla wants to donate you some.
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,790
8,781
I was the kid that would want to take it apart to see how it worked inside.
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,740
Columbia River Gorge
I was the kid that would want to take it apart to see how it worked inside.

I was the parent who let my son disassemble a piano (cracked soundboard), so they could see how it worked. Oh yeah, you should have heard the calls from other parents ... "Bonnie, ummm, my son said they're taking apart your uhhh piano???".
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,790
8,781
Note sure what to make of this?! :
SMARTT Mobil Classroom Visit with Ligon Middle School
...a student-built and fully electric Tesla Roadster was on display for students to see what they can accomplish just a few years in the future...

Ugh. It tooks some digging, but I think they meant to say "...fully electric Triumph Roadster..."

smartt_car.jpg


Topic: SMARTT Challenge 2011 - The EV Hub
...As always the SMARTT Challenge trailer and Electric Triumph will be there to attract the public...

North Carolina Office of Environmental Education - K-12 Renewable Energy Programs-North Carolina Solar Center-North Carolina State University

... The mobile classroom includes an opportunity to tour the mobile classroom with information and visuals on alternative transportation, a demonstration on alternative fuels, and the electric car which is the red Triumph Spitfire...
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,740
Columbia River Gorge
Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. All I can say is that anytime you're asked to bring your car to a school and talk about electric cars, do it! I had so much fun.
 

VolkerP

EU Model S P-37
Jul 6, 2011
2,464
27
Germany
My RC is in the shelf after the original battery pack reached its end of life after.. hm.. 1 mile? Still waiting for the ranger to bring the replacement pack...
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,323
2,674
Redmond, WA
I spent another full day at an elementary school last week. I was with another Plug In America member that brought a Leaf. Some things that worked well for us:

1. Roping off the cars worked GREAT! The kids kept their distance almost without exception. They just used small soccer cones and jump ropes that drooped to the ground...it was good enough.
2. The Leaf owner brought a wind-up flashlight. Great tool for explaining regen and power generation in general.
3. They liked me walking around the car, opening everything and showing them a sample battery.
4. They REALLY liked me asking if they wanted me to start the car so they could hear it. They were quite surprised when I told them it was already on!
5. They might have been slightly disappointed by the lack of noise given that it was already on...but I went on to explain that electric cars can run in your garage, so while eating breakfast you can use your smartphone to tell them to warm up or something. Or, if you want people to hear you, you can play the radio. I then hit the play button on my cell phone, which was bluetoothed to the car, so music started pumping out. Simple trick (and not electric-only!) but they really liked it.
6. A lot of kids started yelling about how much better the Roadster was than the Leaf as soon as they saw them. But I pointed out that if their parents had a Leaf instead of a Roadster, the kids would likely spend a lot more time with them riding electric--and they could take friends. That was enough to get some of them to proclaim the Leaf the better car.

There was a station next to us where kids learned about MPG by pretending pretzels were fuel. They were told how far they could walk per pretzel, given a bag, and then saw who got the farthest (in an unusual twist, the pickup truck didn't have enough pretzels to get back to the group, and had to get a "tow"). When they got to us, we said our cars could go twice as far on a bag as the best of the cars they were comparing. Plus, because they use electricity rather than gas, they use better pretzels--chocolate covered ones!
 
Last edited:

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,740
Columbia River Gorge
Fun fact for kids ...

How many of you have been to Disneyland? < multiple hand waves>
Did you go on the California Screamin' rollercoaster? <yes!>
Was it FAST?? <yes, yes, YES!!>

... did you know this car is FASTER than California Screamin'? (It does 0-55mph in 4 seconds)

That exchange draws them in everytime.
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,323
2,674
Redmond, WA
I spent another full day at an elementary school last week. I was with another Plug In America member that brought a Leaf. Some things that worked well for us:

1. Roping off the cars worked GREAT! The kids kept their distance almost without exception. They just used small soccer cones and jump ropes that drooped to the ground...it was good enough.
2. The Leaf owner brought a wind-up flashlight. Great tool for explaining regen and power generation in general.
3. They liked me walking around the car, opening everything and showing them a sample battery.
4. ...

Buzzbuzz and I paired up and went back to this school today. I brought the Roadster; he brought his Model S.

We did a lot of the same stuff - put up cones around the cars (no ropes; didn't work quite as well), used a wind-up flashlight, walked around the cars opening everything, showed them a sample battery cell.

The unit before us was a lightweight, aerodynamic diesel racer built by local high-school girls. We started talking about how light weight and aerodynamics reduce fuel use; but there is another way to get off of petroleum...

We decided to frame the car-showing portion as old versus new. I showed the various parts of my Roadster; then buzzbuzz showed how almost all if it had been improved on the Model S. I'm not sure the kids got a lot out of the framing, but they sure did like us opening everything and showing it off. I'm also not sure how much they got the idea that electric cars have advantages over gas cars; but it did seem to work to get them more excited about the Model S than the Roadster. They'd come in largely staring at the yellow car, but by the time we were done they were asking most of their questions about the Model S.

I think last year we got 4th and 5th graders. This year we got 2nd and 3rd graders. It seemed harder to keep them focused on the message; that might be a little young. They did still get excited about the cars, though. Let's hope they went home and shared their enthusiasm with their parents.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top