Maker Nathalie here! For the month of May we are making Rubber Band Go Karts!

These go karts are powered by the energy from a simple rubber band. How that works is a stretched rubber band contains elastic potential, or stored energy. When we let that rubber band go, the energy is turned into kinetic energy, or motion energy.

We are going to use the energy from the rubber band snapping back as a source of kinetic motion energy to power our car. To see how we get these done, check out our making process:

SUPPLIESGoKart1

2 Small wheels

2 Big wheels

2 Axles

1 Straw

1 Rubber band

 

 

1 Car base. (We used a Laser Cutter to do this) We need a hole to tie the rubber band, and an indent where the notch will go. Very vague definition of a base, but it leaves ALOT of room for designing and engineering fun bases! In the Annex, we laser cut a base from some thin (1/4 inch) plywood.

A notch. This goes around the axle, and is where the rubber band is winded. In the Annex, we used a, acrylic disk with an indent, we made these with our laser cutter.GoKart2

 

 

 

QUESTION: Try different sizes and thickness of rubber bands, do they work differently?

Optional: Paper or cardboard to make cool art for the sides of your cart. In the Annex, we used our laser cutter to create all types of designs!

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STEPS

Cut the straw so it fits between the two wheels. Glue the straw to the car base, near the rubber band hole. Put the axle through the straw and attach the wheels to the axle.

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QUESTION: Why do we glue the straw to the car base and not the axle?

Cut the remaining straw into two pieces, each straw piece the width of the indented parts of the car. Glue two these pieces onto the indented side of the car.

Put the axle through one straw, add the notch; put the axle through the second straw.GoKart1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Add glue to each side of the notch so it will stay in place. Attach wheels, and glue on.

 

QUESTION: Why is it important to make sure the notch is glued to the axle?

Tie the rubber band around the hole.

And you are finished! Wind the rubber band around the notch and start racing with your new go kart!

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