Mousetrap vehicle – science olympiad student center wiki f gas certification logo

1 or 2 mousetraps are mounted on the car. Most often, a long dowel or other type of rod is attached to the mousetrap so that when the mousetrap is triggered, it pulls the rod and the attached string, which unwinds from around the axle, which turns the wheels, propelling the car.

Building materials you can use vary greatly, depending on your level of skill. Experienced builders might use light balsa in pre-designed arrangements. You can find kits and books available in most hobby stores to help educate you on how a mousetrap vehicle works. The kits are usually make of balsa wood, but some kits are available that are made of plastic (careful examination should be used to ensure that these kits don’t have pre-made mousetraps or other illegal items) made for home experiments.

To figure out the number of winds needed, all you must do is get the circumference of your wheels that are being driven and divide the distance by circumference. However, due to inertia, you must test a lot to find out how many winds your string needs to go around the axle initially. Some vehicles need more or less than others, even with wheels of the same size and material. Careful attention should be taken to ensure that the track is free of debris that could affect your vehicle. High-caliber teams should take every detail to attention to ensure a winning score.

To reach the next level, the vehicle’s design should be adjusted to better fit a variety of properties. There is no single strategy that will yield a perfect vehicle, and adjusting one element to fix one property of the vehicle may cause a negative change in another property; this is all part of the design process. All of the following tips require testing to reach the vehicle’s full potential.

Making the car travel quickly is an important factor in the score. Follow these tips (note that they are opposite of the distance tips, so you will need to find a balance between the distance you can travel and speed; you will generally want to just be able to make the distance with a little wiggle room).

Another factor into the score is the accuracy of the stopping point of the car. It is common to include a braking system in mousetrap vehicles. Especially common are wingnut systems. See the brakes used in the previous event " Scrambler" for an example, or the picture in the link in the next section below.

In the 2018 competition, the track must be at least 1 meter wide, therefore, traveling straight is important. If you cannot build the axles to be exactly parallel, then there are some other options. One commonly used solution is to build the car in two halves. The front axle will be part of the front half, and the rear axle will be attached to the back half. The two halves of the vehicle are connected together with a bolt that runs to the middle. Here is a modified example of this method. To adjust the path of the vehicle, simply loosen the bolt, turn the front half, and lock it in place by tightening the bolt again. Now you can adjust how straight or curved the path of the vehicle is.

• CD’s or vinyl records are common wheel ideas. Rubber bands or balloons can be placed around CD’s to add traction.Also, good wheels can be found at local hobby stores. Airplane wheels are often light and come in a variety of sizes. The only problem is they can sometimes be reasonably expensive.

• If possible, try to test on a surface similar to the one that you will encounter at the competition. Testing on tile and then competing on hardwood will affect your vehicle‘s performance. Best way is to test on multiple surfaces, and keep data for each one. Also, the importance of clean floors cannot be emphasized enough: the results will be varied if the floors are dusty or have small pieces of trash on them.

• When building, it may be best to move the mousetraps as far from the driving wheels as possible. This enables you to maximize the length of the lever arm and the drive string. If the lever arm sticks beyond the axle, the string must extend back to the axle to wind around it, so any additional string is wasted.

• When winding the string, you can lock the mousetrap(s) and hold the string tightly (you don’t want any slack on the string around the axle), and turn the axle in the opposite direction that you want it to go. Or you can wind the string around the axel and then lock the trap(s), eliminating the requirement to pull the string tight as you wind it.

The goal is to have the lowest final score. Each team is given a total of 8 minutes to attempt 2 runs. The lower score of the 2 runs will be the teams Final Score. If a team cannot successfully complete a run in the 8 minute block, they are given participation points and scored in a lower tier, but they are still scored above no shows.