Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


Cars For Kids 101

GM Has A Fun Way To Learn About Cars

I stumbled across GM Education, a website by General Motors that educates kids (and grown-ups) about different aspects of cars. It’s pretty cool and is easily laid out. Why not teach your kids a few things about cars over the holiday break? Here are some of my favourite things from the site:

This is a wide age range, so use your discretion when searching for age-appropriate activities.
  • Interactive game, Cruncha, shows which car parts are recycled and what they could be made into.
  • Build an edible car with graham crackers, dried fruit, marshmallows . . . mmm, marshmallows.
  • Energy section has Technology In Your House, and is an interactive game to get kids thinking about the different types of energy consumed at homeyour car uses and/or emits these types of energy all the time.
  • Printable colouring pages.

Grades 5–8

  • Find a Fuel gamecars use different fuel types (gas, electricity, hydrogen, etc.), and you have to find enough fuel symbols to power the car down the street.
  • Engine Shopinteractive game that explains different parts of the Corvette engine. The information is good, and the end image shows where all the parts are located in the engine. It would be nice, though, if we could see the parts' location as we play along. 
  • Technology section has information about the use of wind tunnels in testing aerodynamics, and using robots to manufacture cars. 

Grades 9–12

  • Cool Jobs has interviews with many GM employees (engineers, designers, etc.).
  • Explains how hybrids work.
  • How to calculate displacement of an engine.
  • Make your own hydrogen experiment.

Lesson Plans for Teachers 

  • This section explores real-world environmental and technological applications.
  • Browse by grade, topic, and subject. Anticipated duration for each activity is also listed.
  • Topics include the forces of flight, sustainability of cars, changes in technology.
  • Provides downloads for activities, and external links for more information.

For five fun ways to include your kids with auto maintenance, click here.

Images via GM Education