Rubber Band Car

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In this design challenge activity, learners build a car that can travel at least four feet using rubber band power and use the design process to debug problems. Learners can follow up this activity with the "Motorized Car" and "Customized Car" activities in the Leader Notes guide.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • 5 x 6—inch piece of corrugated cardboard (cut so the holes from the corrugation are visible along the long edge)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • 1 wooden skewer (Use the thinnest available skewers. These probably will be 1/8 of an inch thick.)
  • Tape (masking or duct)
  • 2 faucet washers (Size: 1/4—inch Large)
  • 2 CDs
  • Poster putty (1/4 package)
  • 1 rubber band
  • Pencils, pens, or markers


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • 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