STEAM Unit Plan: Designing the Vehicle of the Future

Oh y’all. I am SO loving teaching high school. What an amazing age!

My high school kiddos have driving and cars on the brain. So, it was a no-brainer (see what I did there?) to design an Art unit customized to their unique tastes. But, because I’m me, it had to relate to other subjects, be STEAM-related, and be totally over-the-top.

So, we designed the “Vehicles of the Future” [insert wacky future music here].

My students became obsessed (obsessed) with this project and had a ton of fun as a result.

We started by looking at those wacky “cars of the future” videos from the 1950s and 1960s, selected a future world of our own, examined how cars are really engineered, examined data about how current cars are manufactured (and how much that costs), sketched a car, built a model of the car out using papier-mache, painted the car, photographed the car on a green screen, and designed a magazine advertisement for the car.

Here is a project overview for you:
https://prezi.com/embed/jntej6s0sx_g/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0dDVrY21QQXR4ZEJjQnJBQTNrU2VTL2JRPT0&landing_sign=tLjhUCsfnNiEjQq7SEy8JfZDycAOAdlCCyrTKifcSn0

It was a ton of work, and it was AWESOME. Below, you can see some of their final car adverts (which contain images of their models).

In order to do teach this unit I generated:

-project overview pdf (with all steps and links included)
-student contract (for accountability)
-vehicle data sheet (how much car materials cost etc. etc.)
-future predictions
-vehicle pre-planning (walking students through how their design will relate to the future)
-vehicle sketch sheet
-vehicle cost sheet (how much would it cost to build this today?)
-vehicle advertisement how to’s
-project rubrics

All of these documents can be downloaded below: