# How Can You Build a Long-Distance Propulsion Vehicle from Basic School Supplies?

• failingphysics
In summary, the conversation discusses a physics project where a car must be built out of specific materials and be able to travel at least 20 ft without being pushed. The best propulsion system suggested is a propeller, but there is a desire for more creative ideas. One suggestion is to build a glider-car using index cards, paper, straws, rubber bands, and a paperclip. The car would have wings and a propeller, allowing it to glide farther.
failingphysics
Hey, there. I'm in high school physics, so hopefully this problem will allow you guys to think creatively without hurting your braincells.

We're supposed to build a car out of index cards/file folders, tape, glue, straws, paperclips and rubberbands only. The car must go at least 20 ft and carry its propulsion system (i.e. can't be pushed).

Anyhow, I've come up with some designs, but the best propulsion system I can think of is a propeller. I'm sure it'll work fine, but it's kind of boring! Any creative car ideas? Any propeller ideas that will help our car go a long distance are welcome, as well. The entire object is to get it to roll/fly/whatever as far as possible, provided it starts/ends on the ground!

One of the most creative ideas I've seen is to build a type of glider-car. You can make a car frame out of the index cards and glue a large sheet of paper to the top of the frame. This will act as wings for the car. Use the straws to construct a propeller on the front of the car, and then attach one of the rubber bands to the back of the car and the other end to a paperclip. The paperclip will spin the propeller when it is pulled. As the car moves forward through the air, the wings will help it to glide farther. It is a tricky design to get right, but can be quite effective if done properly.

Hi there! It's great to hear that you're exploring creative solutions in your high school physics class. Building a car out of limited materials can definitely be a challenging task. I have a few suggestions for you to consider.

Firstly, have you thought about incorporating a balloon into your design? You could attach the propeller to the balloon and use it as a source of propulsion. As the air escapes from the balloon, it will spin the propeller and move the car forward.

Another idea is to use a rubber band as the source of propulsion. You could create a winding mechanism using paperclips or straws, and attach the rubber band to it. As you release the winding mechanism, the rubber band will unwind and move the car forward.

If you're open to using a different type of propulsion system, you could also try using a mousetrap. By attaching the mousetrap to the car and releasing the spring, it can provide a powerful burst of energy to move the car forward.

As for creative car designs, you could try incorporating aerodynamics into your design by making the car more streamlined. This will reduce air resistance and help the car move further. You could also experiment with different wheel sizes and shapes to see how they affect the car's movement.

I hope these ideas help spark your creativity and lead to a successful and fun project. Good luck with your car design!

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