Thursday, October 23, 2014

Make your own Rubber Band car!

How can you make a car with just things around your house? Read on to find out!

The Experiment

  • 2 paper or plastic cups with lids
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Stick
  • 3-4 rubber bands
  • 1 paperclip
  • beads with big holes
  • Pen or pencil
Try it out:
  1. Cut out a small hole on the bottom of each cup. Make sure that the holes line up when you put the bottoms of both cups together.
  2. Tape the bottom of both cups together.
  3. Poke holes in the center of the lids of both cups. 
  4. Connect the rubber bands together by looping them into each other, making a chain. You can do this by putting one rubber band half way through the other, and tucking one end through the center, like this: 
  5. Thread the rubber band chain through the one lid, the hole in the bottom of the cups and the other lid.
  6. Loop a paper clip through one end of the rubber band chain to stop it from going into the cup. 
  7. On the other end, put a bead in the rubber band, and then put the stick through the remaining end of the rubber band loop. Your finished car should look something like this:
  8. Twist up the rubber band and let the car go! 
What's happening
When the rubber band is twisted, it is storing potential energy. Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object. When the rubber band is released, this energy gets turned into mechanical energy. Mechanical energy is energy that does work. 

The only place this energy can be let out is in the paper cups, causing the paper cups to turn, making your car move forward. 

If you thought this was cool...
This project is related to mechanical engineering. You can find out more here. Some concepts used in this project are potential and mechanical energy. You can find out more about energy through this project.

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