2Defining a ProblemThe problem that I was trying to solve in this project was how to design a mousetrap car out of common household items and how to fashion a mousetrap car that can go at least 5 feet.
3BrainstormingBefore I started the project, I tried to imagine possible mousetrap car structures and designs.
4Researching and Generating Ideas As I brainstormed, there were several mousetrap car designs that I looked over. In my research, I also looked at tutorials on how to build certain mousetrap cars. These tutorials served as a reference to my design. I used sites such as these for inspiration:
5Identifying Criteria and Specifying Constraints The criteria of the mousetrap car required that the mousetrap car that I built must be capable of moving at least 5 feet. The constraints that I was working under was that the materials I could use were:6 pipe cleaners2 boards of binder cardboard4 CD discs1 Mousetrap carYarnA little bit of hot glue6 rubber bandsA small paintbrush2 balloons8 barbecue cabob sticks
6Exploring Possibilities I explored my possibilities by sketching out preliminary designs in my sketchbook. I drew a total of 3 preliminary sketches. In one design, I considered the board of the mousetrap car being made of wood and the hooks for the axle being metal hooks. In another design, I considered not using a long handle to unwind the string on the mousetrap car. Instead, I thought about making handle of the trap itself function as the unwinding part of the string.
7Selecting an ApproachAfter looking over the preliminary sketches, I made a final sketch in my engineering journal and decided to follow that design. The design required that the mousetrap car should be constructed without a handle, the CDs function as wheels and they each have tires. Also the design included that board/base of the vehicle being fashioned like that of a go-cart.
8Developing a Design Proposal For the design setup I used the finalsketch from my engineering journal.
9Making a Model or Prototype When I constructed the prototype/model of the actual vehicle, I instead had a trial and error session seeing which areas of the mousetrap car needed adjustment.Making a Model or Prototype
10Refine the DesignThe trial and error session that I had for the vehicle model revealed that the mousetrap car could not propel itself forward by the trap’s handle alone. The model/trial and error also revealed that the two of the wheels did not require tires. Therefore I only added two balloons as tires for two of the wheels.
11Create itAfter refinement of the prototype, I built the mousetrap car. I cut out a piece of cardboard from an old binder to serve as the base of the vehicle. I twisted 4 pipe cleaners around the board to act as the axle hooks. I cut and taped together 2 pairs of 4 barbeque cabob sticks to form the axles. The wheels were made from the CDs.The rubber bands were used to hold the wheels around the axles. A paint brush was attached to the mouse trap car handle to act as the unwinding lever. String was attached to the paint brush and the string was tied around the back axle.
12Communicate ResultsAfter testing the mousetrap car, the results were satisfactory. The mousetrap car was able to travel around 7 to 13 feet at a speed of about 1.42ft/s.Distance TableTrial 113 ftTrial 28ftTrial 310ftSpeed Tables(Speed=Distance/Time)DistanceTimeCalculated SpeedTrial 15 ft3.33 s1.5 ft/sTrial 24 s1.25 ft/sTrial 33.36 sAverage Speed: approximately 1.42 ft/s
13DistanceTimeTime: 10 ft- 5 ftCalculated SpeedTrial 110 ft6.67 s6.67s-3.33s=3.33sTrial 28 s8s-4s= 4sTrial 36.7 s6.7s-3.36s=3.34sAverage Time 10ft-5ft: 4.9s Average Speed 10ft-5ft: est ft/sAcceleration of 5ft=0.13ft/sAcceleration of 10ft=0.1ft/s