Mouse Trap Car
Making a mousetrap car was a process that involved a lot of testing and modifications. Our main problems were finding the right materials to make our mousetrap car lighter but hard enough to perform the job and to get to the design that allowed us to use the energy of the mousetrap in the best way possible to achieve the 15 meters for the long distance category. First, we did research about long distance mousetrap cars. We found that there were five elements that we needed for our car: reduce friction bearings, longer length lever arm, large diameter drive wheels, small diameter axel and lightweigth components. After getting those characteristics we drew a desing following the five elements and using only three wheels instead of 4 to reduce friction by taking apart rolling bearings of one wheel. The next step was to find the right materials. Our team got a mousetrap, foam for the chassis, two records for big diameter back wheels, wood sticks for the lever arm and structure, string, straws for the axle, glue, tape and a CD for the front wheel. The materials were all lightweight to improve the performance of our car. Testing was an important factor for the success of our car, the more we tested, the more we improved. By testing we found a lot of errors in the way the string was winded, the direction that our car was heading, the place were the mousetrap was located, the length of our lever arm, the friction caused by the wheels and the chassis and more. Most of our errors were caused by poor building quality, for example, the back wheels were not straigth because we did not look carefully and many other details. Building a mousetrap car can be fun, but it takes things like a long process of testing, finding the right materials, struggling with the design, taking care of details and more. After all we achieved our goal and learned that it takes the right conditions to make potential energy works in the right way.
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