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Buggies - Racing Buggy, Switched On Racing Buggy, or Salford Super Racing Buggy

Suitable for years 3 – 8, taking about 2 – 2 ½ hours

A great activity for pupils to work in pairs.


Racing Buggies - being tested

Starting with a kit of parts, pupils build a Salford Buggy using simple tools. Once completed the buggy moves under battery energy.  Pupils are encouraged to draw their own wing design, evaluate their model and make improvements. Often sessions finish with a competition to find the fastest buggy and the opportunity to measure the speed of the winner.

Racing Buggy - with body and wing fitted

Adding a switch makes a
Switched On Racing Buggy

Suitable for year 4 – 9

taking about 2 – 2 ½ hours

An extension to 'Racing Buggies'

Pupils make a basic switch using paper and foil which will turn the motor on and off.


Suitable for years 5 – 10

Taking about 2 – 2 ½ hours

A further development adds a centre off, double pole double throw (dpdt) switch to the Racing Buggy. Headlight (an LED) and horn (buzzer) are switchable. Forward and reverse positions also enable the the car motor to be reversed.

Our Racing Buggies activities address the following curriculum topics:


Design & Technology:

  • Try out tools and techniques
  • Assemble and combine components
  • Design and make images and artefacts
  • Work as a team and follow planning
  • Review what they and others have done
  • Identify what they might change to make it better
  • Carry out tests before making improvements
  • Recognise that the quality of a product depends on how well it is made
  • How mechanism can be used to make things move in different ways
  • How electrical circuits can be used to achieve results that work.


  • Cells (batteries) giving electrical energy
  • Conductors carry electricity
  • Metals are conductors
  • Non-metals are insulators
  • Electricity flow controls which way a DC electric motor turns
  • Friction tries to prevent objects moving, or slows down a moving object
  • Measuring distance travelled and time taken allows speed to be calculated
  • The Super Racing Buggy also explores polarity in components