Roving on the Moon

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In this design challenge activity, learners build a rubber band-powered rover that can scramble across the room. Learners follow the engineering design process to design and build a rover out of cardboard, figure out how to use rubber bands to spin the wheels, and improve their design based on testing results. Educators can also use this activity to demonstrate friction, Newton's Laws, and kinetic/potential energy. There are also connections to NASA and aerospace engineering.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • corrugated cardboard body (6-inch/15-cm square)
  • 2 corrugated cardboard wheels (5-inch/13-cm square)
  • 1 sharpened round pencil
  • 2 rubber bands
  • ruler
  • tape
  • 2 round candies (the hard, white, mint ones with a hole in the middle)
  • 1 plastic drinking straw
  • scissors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Design Squad Nation


Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0810996