Build a better mousetrap…car
What can you do with the publishers’ promotional CDs that pile up on the top of your desk after you listen to them? Why not donate them to the science dept. at your local high school? Here at Stanton’s, we donate old CDs to the science department at Westerville North High School, where ninth grade physical science students build Mouse Trap Cars. Students learn about principles of physics and about Newton’s Laws of Motion. This project allows the freshmen to use their science skills and creativity as they design, build, and test the cars.
Teams of students receive a packet of supplies including 4 CDs, a mouse trap, 4 shims, a dowel rod and balloons. Using saws, drills, sand paper, and hot glue, the budding engineers build their cars while applying concepts learned in class, i.e., friction, mass, and energy applications. The car must travel a minimum of 2.5 meters and climb a ramp. They refine their original hypothesis after testing. Data is then applied to calculate the kinetic and potential energy, velocity, momentum, and acceleration of the vehicle. Class winners then compete in the school wide “Warrior 500” where champions are crowned in three events: Speed Racer, King of the Hill, and Long Distance Run.
Thank you to guest writer:
Susan Wasmund, teacher
Westerville North High School