IB Physics students had the opportunity to participate in one of Upper Schools favorite class traditions this week with the 2021 Mousetrap Car Competition.
The annual challenge tests the students' ability to design a long-distance or race car powered by the stored energy in the spring of a mousetrap for the motor.
The idea is to attach a string to the mousetrap and axle. By winding the string around the axle, the mouse trap's spring stretches to store elastic potential energy. As the car releases, the mousetrap pulls the string off the axle, causing the wheels to turn and pushing the vehicle forward.
"Through this process, students have the freedom to research, design and apply the engineering design process independently.," said Upper School Physics teacher Faunne Brown. "Most importantly, the project connects students to a real-world scenario and enhances their knowledge of other forms of transportation involving energy and efficiency transformation."
The students used their completed design to measure the total displacement for distance cars or the time it takes their race cars to travel five meters. The class also wrote reflections discussing the car's evolution, the predictive equations based upon their specific car design and recommendations on improving their future strategy.
Students wrapped up this year's Mousetrap Car Competition by heading down to the Main Gym to showcase their creations with the class.
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