A mouse-trap car is a vehicle that is powered by the energy that can be stored in a wound up mouse-trap spring. There are a number of scientific and physics based concepts that contribute to a successful mouse-trap car, and this has been explored recently by Mr Cleavers Year 9 Science students.
Over the first few weeks of term, the class has considered how best to utilise this stored energy, and the most efficient means of using it to drive their small vehicles. Some students accessed the designs available on the internet, others researched through libraries, and in some cases, students used trial and error to determine which designs may work best.
On hand today, were the creations, and they went through the testing phase to measure which designs were most effective. With the Year 11 Physics students on hand to assist, the Year 9 class took turns measuring the distance their cars travelled, as well as the speed in which they moved.
The designs were varied, and some truly creative and inventive forms were on display. The result, was that first place went to Jozef Meyer and Harry Hartill, whose design travelled 19.3 metres. A close second was Jack Wallace and Joel Ashworth, with their creation covering an impressive 18 metres. Third place was a little further behind, but Rhys McKay and Tim Jennings still had their car cover 13.25 metres before coming to a stand-still.
According to Mr Cleaver, the desired outcomes were clear.
‘The idea of the project was to learn about simple machines by applying knowledge about the topic. The students enjoyed constructing the cars in the Design and Technology room, and challenging themselves to achieve the greatest distances. With only a single mousetrap providing the force, students had to consider a range of options to make their car travel further. Some impressive designs were constructed.’
A very clever way of demonstrating the concepts of force, friction, torque, design and energy. Well done to all involved.