Making a mousetrap car is a mechanical engineering challenge often used as a competition for students from 5th grade up to the second year college.
Some students may prefer to cut all the woods themselves and design their own car; however, most students and teachers prefer to get all the parts in a kit and make changes as they need.
With this project students can explore:
Mousetrap Car Kits usually come with parts, cut to size and ready to use. The picture in the right shows the materials you usually find in a mousetrap car kit from MiniScience. Kit includes at least 16 wooden parts cut to size in addition to the mousetrap, string, rubber bands and 8 brass eyelets.
During construction of the mousetrap vehicle, students can experiment and comprehend methods of power transfer, using glue, sanding, painting . It is up to the teacher to make sure this background information is provided to students in some manner.
Before invention of gas engines, cars were pulled by horses or other animals. Now gas burning engines are the most popular drive in cars. Inside the engine, the chemical energy stored in fuels are released in the form of hot gases and convert to mechanical force in cylinders.
During the history many other attempts have been made to use other forms of energy to drive a car. In this experiment we try to use the energy stored in a spring (Mousetrap String) to drive a model car.