Design & Play STEAM Cars Kit

Lower Age: 4
Upper Age: 8
Price: $29.99
Year Added: 2021
STEAM Car Contents
Design & Play STEAM Cars Kit, by Lakeshore Learning, is an excellent kit to engage children in STEAM concepts in a fun and exciting way! Item may be purchased from product website.

Design & Play STEAM Cars Kit is a building kit for ages 4-8. The kit comes with enough materials to create 10 balloon powered cars, including 10 chipboard car bodies, 30 wooden axles, 10 balloon straws, 20 axle straws, 12 balloons, 40 plastic wheels, 40 foam blocks, 50 rubber bands, and a guide manual. Users will also need some materials that are not included such as glue, tape, scissors, markers, and any other decoration materials they may want.  All of the pieces in the kit are precut, except for the balloon straws which children must cut as part of the design process.

While children can play with this toy on their own, it is more suited for use in a classroom or as an adult-guided activity. The manual is geared towards engaging a group of children in discussions and experiments about different STEAM principles. The manual encourages setting a goal prior to beginning to design the car (for example, designing a car that goes the farthest and travels the fastest) so the car can be designed to meet that goal. This kit not only encourages engineering principles through the iterative design process, but also addresses every part of STEAM by encouraging conversations about gravity, technology, decorations and visual elements, and measuring and recording. Children will have the opportunity to build their critical and creative thinking skills as well as problem solving and iterative design skills.

Framework Categories

Engineering Thinking (EThink)
Processes of Design (POD)
Apply SEM Knowledge (SEM)

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.