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Experiment TEMPLATE B

  • 6 ice-cream sticks (paddle pop sticks)
  • 3 thin rubber bands
  • 2 wooden kebab sticks
  • 2 plastic drinking straws
  • 4 plastic cups
  • Sticky tape (we used black insulation tape so you can see the joins more clearly)
  • Scissors
  • A sharp knife or metal screw (Adult use only)
  1. Copyright
 
 

How to make a rubber band racer using easy to get materials

Easy to get materials to make this rubber band racer!

Instructions

1
Create a simple square using your wooden ice-cream sticks, making sure that you overlap the corners for strength. Secure strongly with sticky tape.

2image101
2
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
3
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
4
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
5
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
6
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
7
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
8
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
9
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
10
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
11
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
12
Create a simple square using your wooden ice-cream sticks, making sure that you overlap the corners for strength. Secure strongly with sticky tape.
13
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
14
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
15
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
16
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
17
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
18
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
19
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
20
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
21
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.
22
Using scissors, cut your straw into 4 small pieces and secure these nearby the corners of the square you created. Make sure that there is at least 20 mm of distance from the end of the square edges so that your axle can have it’s rubber band fitted more easily.  Thread the two kebab sticks through the straws as shown below.

Why does this work?

This science experiment applies multiple ideas in classical physics, all in one fun little STEM challenge!

1. Firstly by pulling back the rubber band racer you stretch the rubber band, there by storing energy (also known as potential energy).

2. When you let the rubber band racer go, the stored energy in the tension of the rubber band is released and is transferred to the rear axle (an application of the first law of thermodynamics... also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy whereby energy cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system).

3. As the rear axle spins, the rear wheels grip the floor and push backwards which then sends the rubber band racer forwards! A classic way of demonstrating Newton’s 3rd Law of motion which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 

Variables to try

  • Try different floor surfaces... is carpet better than tiles for example?
  • How far will the car travel if you pull it backwards set distances (is the relationship linear?).
  • Does a different size rubber band make the rubber band racer go further?
  • Can you create a different wooden stick arrangement to add another rubber band to the racer? Does this make a difference to the speed and final distance achieved?
  1. BACK TO FORCE & MOVEMENT EXPERIMENTS
  2. BACK TO HEAT EXPERIMENTS
 

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