Rubber Band Cars Chris alallam & brannick HodGdon

What are they?

The rubber band cars were made through a piece of cardboard as the base, two compact discs as wheels, a stick as an axle, and a rubber band for power. This was the basic design, you will read about the modifications we made for it to go faster.

Since the rubber band above is stretched, there is more potential energy. If it wasn't expanded, there would be little to no potential energy. If Brannick were to release the band while stretched, it will turn into kinetic energy and fly across the room. This helps power the car because we stretch the rubber band around the axle of the car and wrap it around. This builds up potential energy and when it's released, it turns into kinetic energy.


With the tape, our car went nowhere, but with the rubber band, we made other modifications as well so we cannot determine how many more feet the rubber band made us go

Our first modification had to do with our tires. At first, we wanted to add traction to the tires so we added tape around it. This worked against us because it disformed the circle so the car didn't run as smoothly. However without the tape, the wheels would wobble and the car would spin out. We came up with another idea to put a rubber band around the tire. It kept the circle figure, so the car wouldn't spin out and would still go fast. We used the rubber band on our final design. The final design went 54 feet.

Another modification that we made were coins. This added weight to the car and made the momentum propel it further. Also, most of the coins were placed in the front because it took weight off of the stick in the back therefore reducing the drag. However, as you can see in the picture, the front bent down, so we had to restart. After we restarted with straight cardboard, we went our highest 54 feet.

We put a stick on the end to reduce the drag. Instead of having the wide end of the cardboard slowing the car down, we have a thin stick which also works for putting the rubber band on. We added the stick at the same time that we added the coins which helped us achive 29 feet. The stick was also included in the design that went 54 feet.

Lastly, a modification we made was of the tape on the stick in the middle. We removed it. It was making the rubber band give off less power into the car and was sometimes getting stuck. Also, at the same time we did this, we removed the tape at the bottom that was holding the rubber band, added coins, and rubber band onto the stick attachment on the back.

Video & Acceleration

We used the video physics app to show the change in position, speed and meters per minute. We graphed it by the x coordinate and the y coordinate both represent how and where the car is going and at what speed it is getting there. The statistics such as work and acceleration can be calculated with the formulas which are : v=change in position/change in time and a=v/t.

We shot the video from this particular angle so that we could accurately calculate how far the car was going and how fast it was getting there. We needed to track the point on the axle of the wheel. The acceleration is 4 meters per second.

This is the graph and it is by meters per second.

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