The Rubber Band Car Challenge

Rubberband Car


  • ALEX REINISCH, Junior, Physics Major
  • WESLEY GARDNER, Junior, Computer Science Major
  • MAGGIE HOCK, Sophomore, Math Major


Students were given the following challenge: Build a car that goes really fast and really far (at least four feet, that is). Their only power source was a rubber band and the car could only have two wheels. They will given a small cardboard square, 2 CDs, putty, duct tape, rubber bands, a skewer, scissors, a ruler and 2 faucet washers to work with.


The Elevator Pitch Challenge teaches the students to effectively collaborate in a team setting, apply critical & creative thinking to ambiguous problems and persist through and learn from failure. The key was to always test and redesign. Likely, when they made their cars, they had to debug many things. For example, an axle didn’t spin easily, the wheels wobbled, the poster putty stuck to the cardboard or the rubber band jammed itself against the cardboard. If any of these things happened to the students, they had to figure out how to fix the problem.


Back to the 2011 - 2012 Weekly Innovation Challenges