If you enjoy this project, then I encourage you to buy my book, Rubber Band Engineer. It's full of more awesome and original projects crafted from household hardware. You can find it wherever books are sold.

Everything I make: LanceMakes.com

Project Goal: Students build cars that are rapidly propelled across the floor at least 10 feet.

Design Variables

  • Axle width
  • Number of wheels

Key Concepts

  • Wheel Alignment means all the wheels all point in one direction
  • Energy transformation is when one kind of energy turns into a different form

Prep: Bend paperclips into hooks (1 per student)

Safety: Launch cars only horizontally across the floor. Designate a launching area and direction when students begin to test.

Step 1: Materials

These are the materials you will need to complete the most basic example, however you'll definitely need more to allow your students to add onto their own car.

8 Craft sticks
4 Wheels
2 Straws
2 Skewers
1 Paperclip
Tape and hot glue
Craft cubes (for modifications)
Plastic cups (for stackable crash targets)


<p>I love building DIY projects with my family and friends whenever they come over. It gets them engaged and we get to create a fun result especially with kids around. I will try this concept but with an airplane instead.</p>
<p>We made this project, but cannot get the cars the ride on the floor... The shoot out, turn over, fly off, but do not drive. Would you please offer us an advice? Thank you.</p>
<p>Hi - Make sure you're following the launching technique correctly. It's important that the rubber band is parallel with the floor when you're stretching it out.</p><p>If you launch it with too much energy, it will always skid out of control. Try using small amounts of energy at first, then increase it until you've found the right balance.</p><p>It's also important to use long rubber bands and wide-set wheels. Good luck!</p>
<p>nice job</p>
<p>This project seems so easy to make with materials that are easy to get too and do not cost that much either. It would be the perfect activity to get the children engaged with during the weekends or term breaks and bond with them while at it. Apart from a car, other vehicles are also possible as long as you know how to build the foundation of it.</p>
Great project idea!
<p>I cannot wait to try this with a group of Beginning English Learners!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I've recently published a book of projects, many of which are rooted in my Instructables! Search for Rubber Band Engineer, or click on my ...
More by LanceMakes:Motorized Flying Propeller Rechargeable Rocket Launcher Duct Tape & PVC Crossbow 
Add instructable to: