Rubber Band Car

Eli Whitney Museum

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For School Groups


Students construct cars powered by rubber bands and measure their performance after 20 minutes of practice. Lively insights into the mechanics, measurement and math of motion. Great for a followup program on creative elaboration. New design now employs wheels of diameter 1/π.

Exploration and problem solving becomes obvious when a student has to question why someone's car went further or faster.

Meets Connecticut Science Standards

  • 4.1: The position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling.

Meets Common Core Standards

Meets Next Generation Science Standards

  • 3-PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: PS2.A Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the objects speed or direction of motion. The patterns of an object's motion in various situations can be observed and measured; when that past motion exhibits a regular pattern, future motion can be predicted from it. PS2.B Types of Interactions. Objects in contact exert forces on each other. Electric, and magnetic forces between a pair of objects do not require that the objects be in contact. The sizes of the forces in each situation depend on the properties of the objects and their distances apart and, for forces between two magnets, on their orientation relative to each other.

For Families

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