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Interactions of Earth’s Spheres Activity for Kids

Recycled Racer DIY

  • Duration: 30-60 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Use recycled materials to make a cardboard racer!

Material List

  • 1Piece of cardboard
  • 1Wooden skewer (with tip cut off)
  • 1Pair of scissors
  • 1Roll of duct tape
  • 2Washers
  • 2CDs
  • 1Ball of poster putty
  • 1Large rubber band


  • 1Cut a notch in one end of the cardboard about 2 inches wide and 2 inches deep.
  • 2Slide the skewer through the notch.
  • 3Wrap a small piece of tape around the middle of the skewer (inside the notch).
  • 4To make a wheel, put a washer in the center of the CD and slide it onto the skewer.
  • 5Using poster putty, secure both sides of the washer/CD tightly to the skewer.
  • 6Repeat step 4 & 5 for the other wheel.
  • 7Tape the rubber band to the center of the cardboard.
  • 8Stretch the rubber band around the tape on the skewer.
  • 9Wind it around the axle by spinning the wheel/axle combo.
  • 10Let go and watch your racer go!

How It Works

Using recycled materials, you have harnessed the power of the energy in a stretched out rubber band to move the car. The energy stored in the rubber band spins the skewer and wheels as it unwinds, propelling the car forward. The tighter the rubber band is wound, the further your car will go. By recycling materials, you are helping the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere!

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