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MESA Day 2012 Mousetrap Car - Distance 6 th -8 th Grade.

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Presentation on theme: "MESA Day 2012 Mousetrap Car - Distance 6 th -8 th Grade."— Presentation transcript:

1 MESA Day 2012 Mousetrap Car - Distance 6 th -8 th Grade

2  Students will build a vehicle solely powered by a standard mousetrap to travel the longest distance on a specified track  Materials:  1 standard mousetrap  All other materials are legal  NO KITS!  Students will build a vehicle solely powered by a standard mousetrap to travel the longest distance on a specified track  Materials:  1 standard mousetrap  All other materials are legal  NO KITS!

3  READ RULES AT LEAST TWICE!!  Mousetrap is ONLY source of energy  Don’t tamper with mousetrap:  No paint  No decoration  Alteration allowed ONLY for attaching mousetrap to chassis  Spring may not be altered  READ RULES AT LEAST TWICE!!  Mousetrap is ONLY source of energy  Don’t tamper with mousetrap:  No paint  No decoration  Alteration allowed ONLY for attaching mousetrap to chassis  Spring may not be altered  READ RULES AT LEAST TWICE!!

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5  Energy from spring is transferred to car via the lever arm  Lever arm provides torque required to turn axles  Energy from spring is transferred to car via the lever arm  Lever arm provides torque required to turn axles Length of lever arm affects power output Shorter arm = faster output Longer arm = slower output

6  # of wheels : 3 or 4  Wheel radius  The greater the radius, the greater the torque required to rotate the axle  Wheel grip (traction)  Power output must match wheel grip to avoid spinning  Avoid wasting energy  Ratio of wheel-to-axle  Larger ratio good for distance  Friction  Reduce friction between wheels and surface  Also between axle and chassis  Alignment  # of wheels : 3 or 4  Wheel radius  The greater the radius, the greater the torque required to rotate the axle  Wheel grip (traction)  Power output must match wheel grip to avoid spinning  Avoid wasting energy  Ratio of wheel-to-axle  Larger ratio good for distance  Friction  Reduce friction between wheels and surface  Also between axle and chassis  Alignment

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8  The body of the car  Balsawood, plastic, other lightweight materials  Mass  The heavier the car, the greater the friction force with the surface  More force required to actually move the car  Long chassis vs. Short chassis  Narrow vs Wide  Aerodynamic (reduce drag)  The body of the car  Balsawood, plastic, other lightweight materials  Mass  The heavier the car, the greater the friction force with the surface  More force required to actually move the car  Long chassis vs. Short chassis  Narrow vs Wide  Aerodynamic (reduce drag)

9 Fast vs Slow  Fast:  Build a car that will accelerate quickly and “coast” as far as possible  shorter lever arm  smaller wheel radius  quick power output  Fast:  Build a car that will accelerate quickly and “coast” as far as possible  shorter lever arm  smaller wheel radius  quick power output  Slow:  Build a car that will accelerate slowly over the entire distance that it travels. Less “coasting”.  longer lever arm  larger wheel radius  slow power output  Slow:  Build a car that will accelerate slowly over the entire distance that it travels. Less “coasting”.  longer lever arm  larger wheel radius  slow power output

10  Research, research, research!  Experimentation is the key  Set a working timeline  READ THE RULES….twice….again!!  HAVE FUN!!!: It’s not the end of the world.

11 Marvin Maldonado Associate Director, UCI MESA


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