Eighth graders in Ms. Byers’ Honors Science classes had to design, build, test, and race cars using mouse traps as the engine. Over the course of two weeks, students found themselves re-inventing the wheel – among other parts of their cars. The instructions were that every part of the car had to be homemade (save for the mouse trap).
On paper, it looks as simple as throwing parts together and gluing them.
The pieces of your car can come from all over, from odds and ends scrounged around the house to free paint sticks from Home Depot.
The main point of the project was to help students learn about kinetic energy and speed, but you get to learn lots of other skills along the way.
Once the car is finally completed, it’s important to test it over and over again and make sure it works every time.
Although some racing happened on the official Test Drive Day, many students used this time to assemble and fix their cars.
The cars had to go five meters at least, and were also graded on how well put together they were. Eventually the students will be graphing and analyzing their car’s performance.
By Marianne Wood