The Elastisonic Car By Christopher Recupero and Jack Pietroski

The Building Process

Materials: Scissors, one or more wooden skewers, one square piece of cardboard 5 1/2 inches a side, duct tape, two CDs and an assortment of rubber bands to test.

This is our car wth the materials labeled

How it is made:

To make the basic car you cut a 1 1/2 x 2 rectangle on the side of the piece of cardboard, in the center of a side. You then slide a wooden skewer through the holes of the courrugated part of the piece of cardboard. Get the CDs to stick to the wooden skewer using the duct tape so they act like wheels. Then tape the rubber band to the back of the piece of cardboard and wrap it around the wooden skewer in the divit in the piece of cardboard and then let the rubber band go to make the car go.

Potential Energy:

The energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position relative to others, stresses within itself, electric charge, and other factors.

Kinetic Energy:

Energy that a body possesses by virtue of being in motion.

The rubber band is winding up around the axle (the skewer). Right now in the picture there is no Kinectic energy being produced but there is elastic potentional energy because the moment someone lets go on winding it up the axle moves making the wheels move which is kinetic energy.


The first modification we made was we cut the square into two triangles. One on the back of the car and one on the front. We did this to distribute the weight evenly throughout the car. If there is too much weight on the back it creates more drag. The car went 23 feet which is better than the 8 feet of our original car.

The cardboard on our car was bending when we wound up the car. So we added wooden sticks on the cardboard so that it would not bend and so the car was stabilized. After that the car went 34 feet.

We realized that that the wheels were crooked so we changed how they are connected to the axle and the car went 43 feet. This improved the efficiency of the car because it made the car go straight, not in a crooked line.

We realized that the rubber band was wearing out so we tried a new rubber band and the car went 55 feet. This rubber band was slightly thicker but the same length as our previous rubber band.

This is our final car and the furthest distance was 55 feet.

Video physics app

First we put a meter stick on the ground and we did that to scale the video. Once we recorded the video in the video physics app we placed a dot on the center of the tire so the app could track the car. We placed a dot every fraction of a second of the video and then the video physics app calculated the velocity of the car.

Formula for Velocity and acceleration

Video of our car

We shot the video from this angle to have the whole journey of the car. We have the meter stick in the background as our scale.

Graph of distance and velocity:

The velocity is the ratio of the distance to the time. The velocity is basically the speed. The car starts off slow and rapidly speeds up and then gradually slows down.


I used the acceleration formula. I took two points on the graph and since the acceleration changes throughout the journey of the car this is the average acceleration.

Thank You

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