One theory rumbling about is the idea of the kart kit. The purpose? Modeled after FIRST FRC, students would probably enjoy learning about the components, tech and science of a kart if they actually got their hands on one, something easy to build. This would hopefully facilitate discussion of the parts themselves, but also encourage learning about how to improve the kart.
The Kart Kit should be the most basic, so students can see some upgrades very easily to start. For example, start with just one motor, driving one wheel. We would hope students could theorize that adding a second motor to the other wheel would be an upgrade. Then considerations for a different drive altogether (live vs dead axle), maybe a differential, etc.
Here is a link to a Google Drive which contains some frame concepts, budget, and links to suppliers. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bz1uEnTBg46Qa1UyU0pYbTEwZ00&usp=sharing
2016-02-20 - We updated the folder for our refined model. It's an 8020 1020 base, and we received a quote from tslots.com to make it for $187 (including all materials!) We have ordered one to test out, and if successful we will be raising funds to build a LOT more. I anticipate 6 students per kit when working in a classroom.
2016-10-20 - We updated the folder with updated documentation, including spreadsheet, and self-printed disc brakes.
Steering - AZUSAParts.com will give us 30% for their products, which could be the steering system including everything from spindles/brackets up to the shaft.
Motors - our concepts used a 24V 350W motor from monsterscooterparts.com, and their throttle, motor controller, etc. They will offer a 5% educational discount.
Electric - we have been using a pair of 12V SLAs, and the monsterscooterparts controllers, throttles.
Brakes - We went with a rear axle, keyed a 3D-printed disk to it, and using bike disc brakes on that.
Wheels are from AndyMark.com We are trying their 4-inch rubber tread wheels, 32 tooth #25 chain sprocket, VEXRobotics.com was for hex shaft for the rear dead axle, and hex bearings from them too. If you beat this kart up, wheels will eventually break (that's not brake).
When we total it up, we estimate our kart will cost less than $500. We created our part supplier list, it is also posted in the folder linked above!
All credit goes to Zachary Ferderer, who just started his M.E. Bachelors at Marquette, Class of 2020! (Lanier High Class of 2016