Physics can be boring--but fear no more, the PocketLab Maker Cart is here! Learn about position, velocity, and acceleration by attaching a PocketLab to the cart. Or tape it to the wheels instead to investigate angular velocity. Or build it just for fun!
Materials needed (provided in the PocketLab Maker Kit):
- Empty PocketLab box
- Two straws
- Two wooden dowels
- Four wheels
- Colored rubber band
- Four beige rubber bands
(The rubber bands can be any color; we are referring to the specific ones provided in the Maker Kit)
A marker and scissors (not from the kit) are needed as well.
NOTE: The Maker Kit materials have already been cut to the size/length needed. If you are using materials from outside the kit: each dowel should be around 5 inches long, and each straw should be around 4 inches long. Make sure the dowels fit into the center of the wheels; they are the axles.
You will reuse one of the PocketLab boxes to build the PocketLab Maker Cart. Empty the contents of the one of the boxes included in the kit.
Flatten out the folds of the box so the box is flat, and make the markings as shown in the picture.
For a higher resolution picture of the markings needed, click here.
Fold up two of the box flaps so that the box looks like the picture. Using scissors, cut along the black markings in each of the four corners. Keep the side flap folded over so that you cut through two layers of the box.
Cut out the square shown in the picture.
Cut one of the straws to 4.5 inches in length. Unfold the box flaps. Slide the straw through the seams that you created by cutting the box.
Cut two pieces of the straw to 1.5 inches in length. Slide one piece of straw under each seam on the opposite side of the box.
Slide the wooden dowels through the straws. The straws will serve as the bearings for the cart and the dowels will be the cart axles.
Fold up the front and back of the box. Fold the small flaps so that they are 90 degrees to the front and back walls. Fold the side flaps over the top of the small flaps and then tuck it into the bottom of the box.
After you have folded the side flaps, the bottom of the box with the axles should look like the picture.
Close the top lid. Tape the top lid shut so it does not pop open.
Tape the straw bearings in place. Make sure the straws extend past the outside of the box, so that the wheels do not rub against the box. Slide the red wheels onto the dowel axles as shown.
Your PocketLab Maker Cart should look like the picture. You can use the PocketLab Maker Cart in this version for many experiments. If you want to turn the PocketLab Maker Cart into a rubber band cart, follow the additional instructions below.
Cut the loop of one of the colored rubber bands. Tape one end of the rubber band to the top and side of the Maker Cart as shown.
Turn the cart over and lay the rubber band along the bottom of the cart. Make sure that the rubber band comes across to the axle with the cut out underneath it. Cut the rubber band so that you have about 1 inch of length that extends past the wooden dowel.
Use the beige colored rubber bands to add tire treads to the red wheels. Add the rubber bands to the wheels that you will wind with the rubber band. This will help the cart get traction and move faster when the rubber band is released.
You can attach PocketLab to the top of the Maker Cart with tape or to the wheels with the adhesive Velcro strips.
To propel the cart, wind the rubber band around the rear axle. Hold the wheels until you're ready to release the cart.