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To design and build a mousetrap powered car that can travel the furthest distance possible over a flat surface in a relatively short period of time.

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Situation The Good Shepherd Lutheran College requires a mousetrap-powered car to be designed and built for a Grade 12-assessment piece. The mousetrap car distance achiever must be designed to go the furthest distance possible using a medium sized mousetrap and any other materials needed. A test will then be carried out over a flat floor and higher marks will be awarded to the further the mouse trap racer goes, whilst taking into consideration the time it takes to go the distance. Design Brief To design and build a mousetrap powered car that can travel the furthest distance possible over a flat surface in a relatively short period of time. Constraints Compared to a large mousetrap or rattrap, the power from the mousetrap is limited because only a medium sized mousetrap can be used. There is a time limit of 6 lessons to build and design the mousetrap car; this limits the amount of time for testing and modifications both before and after the prototype has been built. ...read more.


Once the 5mm axel had been cut using a hacksaw, a washer was stuck on each wheel and the axel then threaded through. Hot glue was then used to connect the axels onto the wheels. The drill press was then used again to drill holes through the remaining main body part, and also the mousetrap. A bolt was then threaded through the mousetrap and body and tightened with a shifting spanner. A strong, lightweight, narrow piece of plastic was then attached to the mousetrap by means of sticky-tape. Finally, to attach the axel to the mousetrap small gauge fishing line was used with a loose slipknot at the end of the string. Evaluation The mousetrap-powered car that I designed and built was unsuccessful in its attempt to fulfil the requirements given. The drag-car design failed to beat its first attempt of four meters in five seconds, the main problem being that the mousetrap wasn't powerful enough to pull the large back wheels even when attached to the hole closest to the axel. ...read more.


The pulleys could be made out of plastic because of its lightweight properties or meccano-style metal ones. Two-wheel Design - The two-wheel design works on the principal of having less weight to go faster. The mousetrap is simply hung on the axel, and then pinned into the wheels at the other end. As the mousetrap shuts it pulls itself around and moves forward. However this design has many flaws, some of these flaws are that a slight bump would send it off coarse and the string is only very small so it doesn't have much time to accelerate or cruise. The design could also be a complete failure if the mousetrap isn't strong enough to pull itself over. Final Choice The drag-car type design is the method that I chose to build because the time constraints meant that I wouldn't be able to iron out the flaws of the two-wheel design and the pulley system in time. Some adjustments to the drag-car would be beneficial such as tapered sides; this will get rid of excess weight. More than one hole for the mousetrap to be attached will help for finding the correct distance needed from the axel to the mousetrap. ...read more.

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