Rubber Band-Powered Car

Introduction: Rubber Band-Powered Car

Did you know that rubber bands could also be a fun way to learn about physics and engineering? Find out in this DIY project where you’ll build a rubber band–powered car!

The project consists of racing cars whereas your model car will use a rubber band as the source of energy. As we all know, a stretched rubber band is a great source of elastic potential energy. When the rubber band is released, that energy is converted to kinetic (motion) energy. The energy generated from the rubber band snapping back into shape is enough to power this small car.

Supplies

· CDs (wheels)

· Illustration board

· Wooden skewers

· Rubber bands

· Straws · Glue gun

· Glue stick

· Tape

· Scissors

· Sponge

Step 1: Preparation

1. Cut a piece of illustration board that is slightly longer and wider than the length of one straw.

2. Parallel to each other, tape the two straws to the illustration board.

3. Cut a rectangular notch in the cardboard on one end, about one inch by one inch. This will also cut a segment out of the middle of one of the straws.

4. Insert the wooden skewer through each of the straw. These will serve as axles for your car.

5. Cut four small squares from the sponge and press them onto the ends of the skewers precisely.

6. To form wheels, attach CDs to the axles. Stuff a piece of sponge into the hole in the middle of the CD with the use of tape to secure the CD and prevent it from wiggling.

7. Try it down on a flat surface and give it a push. Adjust the wheels if necessary, to make sure they are all parallel and don’t wiggle.

Step 2: Try It Out!

Now, it's time for you to have some fun & learn about force, motion, kinetic energy, and more! You can also try to modify the design based on your preference. Play it with your friends and/or family! Enjoy!

The game requires at least 2 players with a Rubber Band-Powered Car

1. Have a starting line for your cars.

2. Each player will load the tension in the rubber band in their cars and hold it in place just at the starting line.

3. Start a countdown and as it reaches 0, all players must release their car.

4. The car that reaches the farthest wins! You can use your creativity and create game modes with your cars, such as creating a race track or an obstacle course, or even collide with each other’s cars and have the strongest car win!

Tip: The more tension present in the rubber band, the longer and faster the car accelerates. If the car lifts up from the surface while it is moving, it is because the car is lightweight. Adding weight to the car would keep the car touching the ground, resulting it to move more efficiently on the surface.

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