Rubber Band Car Competition

Saturday 12th September 2020 9:00AM – Friday 16th October 2020 5:00PM
Location/Venue: Online and at Home

Build a rubber band car from the kit provided and other items from around your home. Contact info@sidmouthsciencefestival for your kit of 3 rubber bands and length of wooden dowel.


To design and build a rubber-band propelled car, made largely from common household recyclable waste materials.  There are two categories of winners

  1. The most innovative and well-constructed design. Pictures required for judging clearly showing key aspects of construction.
  2. The car that travels furthest measured in a straight line on a flat and horizontal surface. Video evidence of trial is required.

There will be a small prize for the winner in both categories. 


There are two categories of entrant

  1. Primary school-age children (we do anticipate there will be some practical help given by older people!)
  2. Everyone else.  Adults are most definitely encouraged to take part. 

Entrance is free.  Contact  Sidmouth Science Festival by emailing [email protected]. Entrants will be given a kit of parts (see below).


The car will have at least 3 wheels and be powered only by the rubber band provided. There are many simple designs available on the internet that could be followed but if copied exactly they would be unlikely to win the most innovative design.  


Each entry will be provided with 

  1. a wooden dowel 600 mm long, 3 mm dia. to be cut as required and used for axels and anything else 
  2.  3 “standard” elastic bands (only one per car – the others as “spares”)


Other construction materials are provided by the entrant and comprise mostly of repurposed recycled materials from household waste, for example, but not limited to

  • Plastic bottles, small plastic or cardboard boxes, tin cans for the car body. (A body is not compulsory – there could be just a “chassis” as pictured.)
  • Old biros, pencils, straws, cocktail sticks etc. for a “chassis”. (A chassis is not compulsory.)
  • Bottle tops, CDs, jar lids etc. for the wheels.
  • Any paper, card etc. and any of the above for anything else.

Not normally found in household waste they may use:

  • Any number of thumb tacks or paper clips, tape, glue, string. 
  • Any paper, stickers, paint, felt-tip etc. for decoration.


No tools other than small hand tools should be used to aid construction.  (Tip: A hot melt glue-gun is very useful.) Otherwise the means of construction are solely down to the entrant and they (or a supervising adult) are responsible for their own safety.


Judging will be done remotely via submitted photos and videos to [email protected] or Twitter #sidscifest or Instagram.

However should social distancing allow at the time it is intending to exhibit and run cars on 17th and 18th October 2020 at Kennaway House.