Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Power a Vehicle - Engineer Inside

Power a Vehicle

Can you power a vehicle using only things around your house and some science know-how?

What should I do:

  • Get an activity sheet by clicking on the big grey box link below
  • Follow the steps as you go down this page
  • Make notes and observations as you go
  • Experiment, tinker, and engineer!
  • Write up your experiment

Ideas and Inspiration

Click the arrows to see more.

1 / 3
What have we used to power our vehicles?
2 / 3
Tom has made a car from scratch and powered it with elastic.
3 / 3
Push a car along with a balloon!

The next sections are all laid out in the same order as the activity sheet. Make lots of notes and draw your designs - that's what good science is about! If you're 11-14 you can read more about each step in the Good Science Guide


Find examples and materials from around your house that you think could be useful. Use your imagination! Make a note on your activity sheet of your ideas and if you can find any moving objects - what makes them move?

Hints and Tips

Next, have a look at our experts' hints and tips - how did they approach this challenge?

Tom Grandjean

Can elastic bands power a car?

Printable transcript

Rebecca Mackley

Propellor Power

Evé Wheeler-Jones

Chemical Car


Find out how you can build your creation! Take your ideas and inspiration from your activity sheet, or any new ideas you've picked up from our hints and tips, and start to plan how you're going to build and experiment.


It's time to predict what is going to happen! On your activity sheet make some predictions and plan how you will measure whether your creation has been a success. Remember that a hypothesis is a statement that you can test - Light will be split by the glass of water and a rainbow will be visible

So, you've got an idea in mind? Before you start testing anything out, make sure you've filled in the activity sheet so far. Then make sure that you've asked an adult for help and have a think about how to stay safe while doing an experiment.


Try your creation out - how well does it work?

  • How can you measure how successful your creation has been?
  • Was your hypothesis right?


So you've tested it out - did it work well? Have you learnt anything in the process? Now is the time to try and find out a bit more about what you've done.

Expert Creations

Let's find out how our engineers got on with what they created!

Tom Grandjean

Elastic-powered Car

Printable Transcript

Rebecca Mackley

Propellor Power

Evé Wheeler-Jones

Chemical Car

Diagram of car design #1

Diagram of car design #2

Diagram of car design #3


Having seen our engineers create their own experiments and test them out - do you have any ideas for how you could make your creation better? Try them out - see if you can get better results and measurements than you did the first time around!


How are you going to tell other people about your results? What's the best way to share your new-found information?