Rubberband Cars!

Building and designing a car utilizes automotive engineering principles as well as the laws of physics. When building a car you have to think about things like how it's going to move, the direction, and the speed. Torque allows the wheels to spin and force gives it the power to move, but why don't the wheels just spin in place then? If you said friction, then you are correct! For this project, think about these three aspects first and how you will accomplish them. Answer the following instructions first to understand how your rubber band car works, refer to the drawing above for help!

Answer the following questions to first figure out how your car works, then follow the instructions to build your car!

  • Ask any of the volunteers for help if you get stuck, but make sure you understand how the car works and draw out your ideas first!
  • What component of the car will make the wheels spin?(hint, what is the wheel spinning around?)
  • What component of the car will make it move across the table?(hint, what is providing the friction so that it actually interacts with the table and doesn't just spin in place?)
  • What component of the car will supply power to make the cars move(hint, think of a toy car, how do those usually move, what do you need to do?)
  • *Important for Challenge!** How will the size of the wheel affect how far it will travel? How about the speed?