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Make a spool ‘walk’ with the energy stored in an elastic band

Suitable For

Grade 3



Time Required

 <12 Hours



What’s it about?

You can make a cotton reel walker that is driven by the elastic energy stored in a rubber band. In this science experiment we will look at how elastic energy is converted into kinetic energy. Energy is the ability to do work. Two types of energy exist: kinetic energy is the energy of moving objects and potential energy is stored energy that has the ability to change into kinetic energy. Elastic energy contained in a rubber band is a type of potential energy – let’s see how this works:

Topics covered

Potential energy, Elastic energy, Kinetic energy

What will I need?


Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

This science experiment works because rubber bands have stored potential elastic energy, which is then converted into kinetic energy by twisting or stretching it. Energy can never be used up; it is just converted from one form to another. Elastic energy is the energy stored in the rubber band when its shape is changed, for instance by twisting it many times. The stored elastic energy is then released and converted to kinetic energy, by winding down and turning the match stick ‘leg’ when the rubber band is then allowed to return to its natural shape.

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