Instructables

Mousetrap Vehicle

Picture of Mousetrap Vehicle
This instructable is not for the faint of heart, possess weak stomach, nor a phobia of calculators. Before we start, defining what a mousetrap vehicle should be done. A mousetrap vehicle, as implied, is a vehicle solely powered by the potential energy of a mousetrap(s).

There are three main types of vehicles; long range, high speed, competition. The defining characteristic of the long range vehicle is it's large drive wheel. For the high speed vehicle its, you guessed it, it's high speed. As for the competition vehicle they must comply with guidelines most likely for school or Science Olympiad.

This Instructable will be for the designing and building of a mousetrap vehicle following the rules for Science Olympiad devision C for the 2010 - 2011 academic year.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
To start your design you must have nothing more than:
*a writing utensil
*paper/notebook(preferred)
*calculator

However, if you want to design a vehicle that you will be proud to put your school's name on you will also need:
*a graphing utility
*ruler/straightedge
*caliper
* micrometer(if you have a thing for sig figs?)
**a good foundation in mathematics

**Those who do not possess these skills, yet. Have no fear there are countless resources at your disposal. For example the internet, public libraries, and your teachers. The internet, your on it now. Public libraries, they are free and full of helpful underpaid knowledgeable city employees know as librarians. The other option is your teachers. Who would be enthralled to have a student or non-student ask for their help and guide you. That is if you don't owe them any work.

Here is the SciOly wiki on mousetrap vehicle, an indispensable resource.

After reading the rules, read them again. The last thing you want to hear is, after all your hard work, "your disqualified." 
csbrocket31 year ago
Hello. I love ur instructable. I to am in science olympiad and want to know if you have any way to help me make my car go straight. Plese respond asap!! And thank you
Jaycub3 years ago
I am in that moustrap competition! I'll see you watching in the audience while my friend and I accept our first place medals at nationals.
s (author)  Jaycub3 years ago
We'll see about that last part, our state competition is in two weeks. I hope you are a worthy adversary. I built another that was much better, but it's too soon to give out that information.