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Mouse Trap Car Activity

| Rules | How to Build | Dates |

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The Mouse Trap Car activity is designed to be an activity built at home. The car can be built by one person or you can enter into the project with a partner.  Below are several pictures taken from a book about Mouse Trap cars that will help you develop your car. Click on each picture to see a full size copy of the Mouse Trap Plans.

Important Due Dates:

Monday May 17, 2004 - Bring your Mouse Trap Car to School for a test run (Quiz Grade)

Thursday May 27, 2004 - Mouse Trap Car Competition Day (Test Grade)

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You must make a few important decisions about your car. Will your car be built to go fast or for distance? Can you make a car that can do both?

Rules for Making the Mouse Trap Car

Objective: Build a vehicle powered solely by the energy of one standard-sized mouse trap (1 3/4" x 3 7/8") that will travel the greatest linear distance (straight line) and have the fastest time for a 5 meter distance.

By definition, a vehicle is "a device with wheels or runners used to carry something" Therefore, launching a ball or marble from the mouse trap will be rules illegal."

bulletThe device must be powered by a single "Victor" brand mouse trap. Other brands may be used with the teacher's permission.
bulletThe mouse trap can not be physically altered except for the following: 4 holes can be drilled only to mount the mouse trap to the frame of the vehicle and a mouse-trap's spring can be removed only to adjust the length of the lever arm.
bulletThe device cannot have any additional potential or kinetic energy at the start other than what can be stored in the mouse-trap's spring itself. (This means that you cannot push start your vehicle)
bulletThe spring from the mouse trap cannot be altered or heat treated.
bulletThe spring cannot be wound more than its normal travel distance or 180 degrees.
bulletVehicles must be self starting. Vehicles may not receive a push in the forward direction or side direction.
bulletThe vehicle must steer itself. Measurements of distance will not measure the total distance traveled, only the displacement distance.
bulletDistance will be measured from the front of the tape at the starting line to the point of the vehicle that was closest to the start line at the time of release.
bulletEach car will be given three tries for the distance contest and again three tries for the speed contest. Only the farthest distance and fastest speed will count towards the contest and your grade.
bulletMr. Crosby will determine if any additions to your car will be permitted beyond these rules. NOTE: Cars may have as many wheels as you think necessary. Three wheeled and four wheeled cars are the most common.