Rubber Band Racers

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In this activity, learners explore the design of rubber band powered cars. Learners work in teams of "engineers" to design and build their own rubber band cars out of everyday items. They test their rubber band cars, evaluate their results, and present to the group.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • 16 in. x 16 in. piece of corrugated cardboard (or a cereal box/smaller piece of cardboard)
  • 4 CDs, paper plates, or plastic coffee, yogurt, or takeout lids
  • 4 rubber bands
  • 3 unsharpened pencils
  • 4 metal paperclips
  • Package of thumb tacks
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Meterstick
  • Stopwatch


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
      • Manufacturing
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Newton's Laws
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and History
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, IEEE,