Rubberband Rollback

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In this activity about potential and kinetic energy, learners get to roll a can across the floor and then watch it roll back to them as if by magic. This activity is always great for looks of wonder! Note: in the Materials Information, it is listed as "per student," but the activity also makes for a great demonstration and discussion.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Rubber band
  • 10 quarter sized washers
  • String
  • 2 large paper clips
  • 18 oz. oatmeal container
  • Hammer
  • Nail


  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Energy and Power


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • COSI classroom and online activities


  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009