Mousetrap Vehicle Debriefing

This Debriefing was written by C. Nolan, and is similar to my reflection with more information about the process.

Today I unfortunately had to stay home from school due to troubles with asthma. Although my teacher added a video of what i missed. Today we showed off our mouse trap vehicles ( my groups had the pink tape on the wheels). Ours for the most part worked quite well, this was mostly thanks to the design process.

Check the video out here

Rules of the project:

  1. Make a moving vehicle that uses only a mouse trap to get the energy.
  2. It all has to be one piece (no string attaching it)
  3. Use the design thinking process


The first process of design thinking was How might we?

You have to come up with questions such as,

  • How might we take the initial force of the mouse trap to make the vehicle move?
  • How might we keep stored up energy to continuously give power to the vehicle?
  • How might we effectively make a vehicle that is both fast and lasts a long time?
  • How might we make it go straight?
  • How might we distribute the initial push over time?
  • How might we build the vehicle?
  • How  might we modify the mouse trap?
  • How might we reduce friction
  • How might we get the energy out of it
  • How might we choose materials

Those are just a few, you spend a large amount of time of coming up with at least twenty or so.

Once you have come up with the HMW questions you come up with ideas that address that.

The first idea worked but went against the rules of the assignment. The second idea worked well but was destroyed in between classes.

The third idea we actually got from our physics teacher Mr. Cross. The idea is simply wind up some string in a wheel and make it unwind, taking the energy of the mouse trap and slowing it down to spread throughout the race. We constructed what is now our final vehicle, a structure that is able to take the mousetraps force to effectively and efficiently pull the string which pulls the wheels all into one simple vehicle


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