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Picture of The Best Rubber Band Car
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Rubber bands are a convenient and effective way to teach energy transformation, and this rubber band car makes that lesson a blast!

A quick Google search for "rubber band car project" yields tens of thousands of results, so why reinvent the rubber band-powered wheel? The top results show cars with small wheels without traction, or CD wheels which are difficult to attach to an axel, both of which aren't ideal for project-based learning.

One of the keys to a successful rubber band car are large wheels with rubbery grip that don't slip on the axel. With this, you can design the car to speedily sprint a short distance, or travel a long distance. Read on after the final project step to learn how to alter the design of the car to achieve each type of goal, and to see the accompanying teaching materials.

This project is recommended for grades 4 and up, however smaller groups of younger students may build this car with extra help.

You can find more projects like this one by browsing my Instructables, or going to Made for STEAM.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Tools

Materials

AnandM5420 days ago
Kids really enjoy this lesson ....!! WOW....
Very nice. Will have to try this with my grandchildren.
The reason you want the added weight on the wheels is because it will increase their angular momentum and keep them turning (ie pushing the car) longer. Basically, fly wheels.
Weight will be more effective if it is added as close as feasible to the rim (far from the axle). Of course the wheels need to be well balanced (the weight distributed symmetrically. around the circle.) A good way to do this is by adding equal weights to each of the spokes.
This is so cool, and so clear, that it deserves to have "axle" spelled correctly. ESPECIALLY on the download doc! Young minds, y'know. I know you know the spelling, because I checked out the Floating Arm Trebuchet, and it's spelled right there. Looks like a whole bunch of really fun projects, and I appreciate the time you take to explain why you designed them the way you did. Thanks!
very neat presentation !!