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Propeller-Powered Car

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    Community Science Workshop Network

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Propeller-Powered Car

In this activity, learners construct cars that are powered by hand-made, electric propellers. Learners construct the base of the car out of a craft stick, use brass tacks and a paper clip to make a switch, and assemble a circuit using wire, a motor, and 9V battery. This project will help learners explore concepts of motion and forces including Newton's Laws of Motion, friction, and acceleration as well as circuits and electricity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 Craft Stick
  • 4 Car wheels (bottle tops, caps)
  • 2 Straws
  • 2 Skewer sticks
  • 1 Motor
  • 1 Card stock or playing card for propeller
  • 1 Piece of hot glue stick, 1/4 in long
  • Material for propeller platform (styrofoam, e.g.)
  • Electrical wire
  • 2 Brass tacks
  • 1 Paper clip
  • 9V battery
  • 9V battery snaps
  • 1 Plastic bottle (optional)
  • 1 Bamboo skewer (optional)
  • 1 Small piece of paper (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands
  • Hot glue gun
  • Soldering iron (optional)
  • Drill


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Circuits
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Toys
  • Transportation


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


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All Rights Reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, ©2011


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