Energy systems


9. Troubleshooting and Redesign of Belt-drive & Propeller-drive Cars


This lesson provides time for students to continue work on their electric cars. Some may have time to work on a second car. Each student produces a troubleshooting guide for one car they have gotten to work.

Advance Preparation

  • Photocopy worksheets: “Propeller-drive Car Troubleshooting Guide” and “Belt-drive Car Troubleshooting Guide”. Download below.


  • Partially completed cars from Lesson 8.
  • Additional materials (as in Lesson 8) for redesigning and rebuilding cars.


  1. Review of issues:
    Meet with the class briefly to review the issues on the list compiled at the end of Lesson 8. Ask students to share their ideas for solving these issues. Remind them to record their ideas and findings in their Science Notebooks. A table of issues, causes and fixes is available as a download, below.

  2. Troubleshooting, redesigning and rebuilding cars:
    Provide time for students to continue working on their cars. Provide troubleshooting assistance only as absolutely necessary – by this point, students should be able to do their own troubleshooting or ask one another for assistance.

Troubleshooting Guide:
Based on the problems they have learned to solve, each student should write a Troubleshooting Guide for his or her new car. The Worksheet provides a format.


  • A Troubleshooting Guide will capture what you have learned about making a complex system work.
  • Word-wall: redesign.