activities

Rubber Band Car

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This week’s STEAM challenge is harness. We thought about doing a solar project, but the boys really wanted to use rubber bands so we did an open rubber band car challenge where I let them design their own with the same basic principles. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to check out the other awesome posts!

Recycled rubber band powered car

We talked about what would make a rubber band powered car work. We talked about how we’d make them so the wheels wouldn’t move on their own (that they were secured to the pencils/sticks) and how the rubber band would be would around the back pencil to harness the energy and power the car.

Recycled rubber band powered carI let the boys choose their materials on their own from around the house. These didn’t end up looking like prize winning projects, but they worked and the boys had fun choosing their pieces.

Recycled rubber band powered carI suggested taping a straw to the bottom of a box for the sticks/pencils to go through but they both found car bodies to put the pencil/skewer through. Whatever you use, just make sure that the “axle” can move freely and that the wheels are secured to the axle. Both boys ended up using duct tape even though they tried a couple different things.

Recycled rubber band powered carThe rubber band should be wrapped around the back axle and then secured farther to the front of the car. On the basket car they duct taped it to the basket itself, on the cardboard car, we added a pencil to secure the rubber band to. If you’re planning ahead, make sure to have a few different sizes of rubber bands for testing!

Recycled rubber band powered carYou’ll need to hold the rubber band down in the back at first to get it to wrap around.

Recycled rubber band powered carThen it was time to test the vehicles!

Recycled rubber band powered carAs with any projects without specific instructions, there was some trial and error for them which can be frustrating, but definitely a good learning experience.

Recycled rubber band powered carHere are the cars in action:


STEAM projects

This is week 3 of 5 in our STEAM series. Did you see our Glowing Hands and Square Plane from weeks 1 and 2? Here are the other HARNESS projects this week!

Recycled Rubber Band Powered Car

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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!

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