Mousetrap Car Race

Here is a link showing more about mousetrap race cars if you are not familiar with them.

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Today was the big race! All together it was me and my husband and our two sons attending. My older son raced his mousetrap racecar in the school gym. There were 86 cars entered and he made it to the semi-finals (about 12 cars total). The fastest car crossed the gym in just under 10 seconds. Our car finished in just over 12 seconds. Our car did not cover the area by going completely straight, it curved so that it lost took a longer time.

The whole thing was very fun; a bunch of students cheered for each ‘heat’. There was someone qualifying for the semi-finals in almost every quarter-final.

My younger son got to get out of class and watch the race. We thought that he would be helping but he and I were onlookers. It was a fun way to enjoy the morning; although my younger son missed snack time so he was hungry.

This mousetrap race takes place every year at the kids’ school. This is their first year here so we didn’t know about the big thing this creates every year.

A lot of the racecars didn’t make it across the floor. We used mini-DV’s for the front wheels and clear CD-shaped disks on the back. A lot of people used actual CD-ROM disks but the ones we used for the back were thinner. Those thinner disks came with the mousetrap kit. The frame that came with the kit would not work because the holes were drilled incorrectly and the frame would not have been straight. Those pieces of wood were unusable because of that, so we used lightweight alumiunum for the frame.

Now we know we need to imrove for the race around this time next year. We’ll still only have one car competing but the year after that, both kids can enter the race individually. I know they will be all about it!

Some designs include old-timey records and/or 45’s (the smaller records). No one today used those, though. We tried that on our design – borrowing records from Grampa – and it slowed the car way down. But if it was a distance race and not a speed race, the records would do some serious damage.

Just imagine the cars from the following PDF link showing design and specs from another race. Then imagine lots of kids screaming and excited to watch the races. Lots of fun!

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This work is licensed under a
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~ by coffeebreath on December 12, 2007.

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