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Blog

Gravity Car

11/27/17

Gravity Car

By Science Educators

What makes a car go fast? You might imagine a race car with a really powerful engine, but the cars made for our Tinkering Garage track are powered by the force of gravity. On Earth, gravity is constant (always the same). So you can’t increase the amount of gravity, but is there another way to make the car go faster?

Materials:

  • Nails
  • Bottle Caps (or other “wheels”)
  • Clothespins
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic Beads
  • Masking Tape
  • Additional Hardware (to add weight)
  • Ramp

Activity:

Using your cardboard as the chassis (or base frame) of the car and your bottle caps or other material as the wheels, create your car. Build an axel system using your clothespins, nails and beads. Explore different ways you can use these materials together to create different shapes of cars. Attach your hardware and get ready to test your car!

Put your car on the ramp and see how fast it goes.

Further Exploration:

  • What happens if you attach extra weight?
  • Does it matter where on the car the weight is added (for example, toward the front, on the bottom)?
  • How can you get the car to travel farther?
  • Can you build a car with a different number of wheels? Compare different car setups to see what happens.
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