Have you ever spit around a track in a mind map? What if you could create your own little electric go-kart and send imaginary riders on a wild race? With a few simple parts, like a button battery, a small motor and the toothbrush head, you can do just that! Once you've built your electric racer, make a track for it from popsicle sticks and see how fast it can go.
[ Edit ] Step
[ Edit ] Building Your Car
- Insert the double-sided tape on the back of the brush head. Peel off the paper support from one side of duplex tape. Attach it to the back of the toothbrush head, opposite the brush.
- Leave some space behind the tape, where the narrow cut trunk on the toothbrush begins. You need this space for the spinner on your engine.
- Attach the motor to double-sided tape. Peel off the back of the top of double-sided tape. Push the motor on it so that the spinner faces the back of the brush (where the handle used to be) and the wires face the front.
- Test the spinner on the back of the engine by turning it with your finger. Make sure it can move freely, as it will need to spin for your car to work!
- Bend the red thread and attach it to the tape. Take the red lead on the motor and bend it in a semicircle. Press the metal tip on the thread on the tape in front of the motor so that it sticks.
- Do not push the thread so hard that it sticks deep to the tape. Otherwise, it may not make good contact with the battery.
- Slide the battery on the tape on top of the red thread. Take your button battery and attach it to the tape so that the "+" side is facing up. Make sure the metal end of the cable is under the battery.
- Leave a gap between the battery and the front end of the engine.
- Press the blue battery cable to test the engine. Take the metal end of the blue cable and touch it to the top of the battery. The spinner on the engine should start spinning and make your toothbrush vibrate!
- If the engine does not start to spin, make sure the red lead has good contact with the underside of the battery.
- You can also double check that the spinner does not stick to the tape.
[ Edit ] Test it out
- Put the car down on a flat surface. Now it's time to see how your car is doing! Lay it on a flat, smooth surface, like a table or hard floor. Make sure the brush on the toothbrush is facing down.
- Your car may not move very well on a soft or uneven surface, such as a mat or a blanket.  Push the blue cable toward the battery to get your car going. Touch the battery cable and see what happens. Does the lead stay in place when you release your car? Moving your car around? Is it upright?
- Add pipe cleaner to help your car work better. Now that you have tested your car, you can think about how you can improve its performance. Get hold of the pipe cleaners that came with your kit. Try to place them in the space between the motor and the battery.
- Can you use them to help your car balance better? How?
- Can they help keep the blue thread in place?
- Keep testing the car until it works the way you want!
[ Edit ] Designing a Track
- Make two guardrails with popsicle sticks and clay. Take a popsicle stick and make 2 small balls of clay. Place a piece of clay on the edge of the popsicle stick next to each end. Put it down so it stands on its side like a railing or fence, with the clay balls supporting it. Get a new popsicle stick and do the same.
- If your rails do not get up, squeeze the bottom of the clay balls a little to create a flat base.
- Set the rails side by side to create a road for your car. Lay the two guard rows side by side so that they are parallel (both facing the same way). Make sure there is enough space between them for your mini-race car to go through!
- Drop off your car at the entrance to the lane and see what happens. Turn on your race car and place it at the beginning of the path you did with the popsicle stick. What does the car do? Does it follow the path?
- Does your car travel differently when it is between the rails than when you release it?
- Add more popsicle sticks to make a longer track. Build more guardrails and put them together to make a nice, long track for your racing car. Get creative and make the track what shape you want!
- Try adding a few laps to your track. What happens when your car will turn?
- Use a stopwatch or a clock that shows seconds how long it will take your car to complete the lane.
- Project completed! Test your new electric car.
[ Edit ] Things You Need
- Bristle Bot Kit
- Toothbrush head
- Double-sided tape
- Button battery
- 30 popsicle sticks
- Model Magic clay