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Step 3: Make the Drive Wheels

Picture of Make the Drive Wheels

The next step is to attach the rubber bands to the wheels, which will add traction. Without the rubber bands, the wheels will spin out and waste energy before the car overcomes its inertia and begins moving.

Adding the rubber bands can be tricky. The best method is to hold a rubber band against the edge of the wheel with your thumb, then carefully work it onto the wheel with your other hand (picture 1). Repeat with all 4 wheels. You may need to prep this step for students in grades 5 and under.

Fit a wheel onto a dowel, then cut two pieces of straw that are about 0.5" long. Put the straw pieces onto the dowel, then fit another wheel on (picture 2).

Important: The wheels must fit snugly. If the dowels fit loosely, then wrap a layer of masking tape around the end of the dowel before inserting it into the wheel (picture 3).