Car Wars

hydrogen carImagine it is 2020 and students are about to get their first car. Increased carbon dioxide emissions have led to huge financial incentives to buy alternatives to petrol engines – but which car is best? In this activity students examine evidence and come to a decision on who wins the Car Wars.

Learning objectives

  • Apply knowledge about atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Evaluate solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars and justify opinions

Try the activity

CarWars Presentation

Size: 6.05 MB

CarWars Teacher Guide

Size: 596.00 KB

CarWars Student Sheets

Size: 2.77 MB

Curriculum link

England National Curriculum KS3:

  • Working Scientifically: Analysis and evaluation – evaluate data and present reasoned explanations.
  • Chemistry: Earth and atmosphere – the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.

GCSE Combined Science subject content:

  • Working Scientifically: Development of scientific thinking – explain everyday and technological applications of science; evaluate associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications; and make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and argument.
  • Chemistry: Earth and atmospheric science – carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Running the activity

Starter Consider which type of car to buy, and discover the percentage of carbon dioxide emissions that comes from cars.
Core task Play a board game for an introduction to car selection criteria.
Plenary Discuss whether there is enough evidence to make a decision.
Extension Rank criteria and sort argument cards to decide which energy source for cars is best.
Plenary Decide on the best energy source, and justify this choice.
For detailed running notes, download the teachers guide.


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