1. Defining the problem: What I need to do is design a car that will travel by the force of a mouse trap being set off and my goal is to go the farthest distance. What is a mousetrap car? A mousetrap car is a vehicle that is powered by the energy that can be stored in a wound up mousetrap spring. The most basic design is as follows: a string is attached to a mousetrap's leverarm and then the string is wound around a drive axle causing the mousetrap's spring to be under tension. Once the mousetrap's arm is released, the tension of the mousetrap's arm pulls the string off the drive axle causing the drive axle and the wheels to raotate, propelling the vehicle.
  2. Collecting Information: While searching the Internet I have found many different design Ideas that may work for my mouse trsp car. I found out that the best way to get the car to move is toconnect string to the arm of the mouse trap and then wrap the rest of the string around the axle. therefore, when you set off the trap, the arm will pull the string causing th axle to spin and the car to move. ANohter idea that I have that i may be able to use is using CDs or DVDs as the back wheels and wrapping them in balloons so they have more traction and can go longer. An adantage of using the CDs as wheels is that they are slimmer and bigger in circumference and therefore will be able to travel longer. A disadvantage is that they may become wobbly because they are very thin an may cause the car to veer off track. Here are some examples that I found of Moouse Trap Cars on the internet:
  • This Design would work because the back wheels are larger than the front wheels and then the back wheels have balloons on them which gives them traction so that they don't slip on the floor and not go anywhere. I think that this design would work, but it looks kind of bulky and heavy which wouldn't let it go as far.

This Design uses a large wheel in the back and two smaller wheels in the front, this design enables the car to have more power and control because there is only one wheel in the back, which wiil be giving it the control. This design woull work, but the only downfall is that it doesn't look very sturdy on the front wheels, so if I was going to use this design, I would make the front tires bigger.


This design is very simple and easy to build. I don't think that this design would work to go long distances because it has no aerodynamacy. and it looks very bulky and heavy.


This design looks lightweight and effective. It uses two mousetraps, but I am sure it would be just as effective with one. I like that it has an extension arm, which lets it get more power and therefore go farther. I think that this design would work, but the only bad thing about it is that the front tires turn, so if I was going to use this design, I would make the front axle stiff so it would go in a straight line.

3. Develop Possible Solutions/ Brain Stormming:
My Possible Solutions

  • Design 1: This design has two CDs or DVDs as the back wheels with balloons on the so they have some traction. The design has one smaller front tire which will most likely just be like a rubber tire from legos. The chasis is made out of small pieces of wood that have holes cut in them for the axles. There will be a string that is tied from the mousetrap arm to the back axle, and that will make the car move.
  • Design 2: This design has one large back tire and the front tires will be smaller either made out of CDs or made out of something else. The chasis will be constructed similarly to tha of Design 1. On this design I would use two pieces of string will be tied to the mouse trap arm and the wrapped around the axle. By using two pieces of string I will get more pulling force, making the car go faster and stronger.
  • Design 3: This design is a very simple design that can become more intricate as you move on in the design process. In the sketch i just used a block of wood, but you could use a wedge instead to make it more streamlined and you can make it almost like a pinewood derby car that is modifed to fit the mousetrap.

4.Selecting a solution:

Matrix for my Mousetrap Cars

  • After making a matrix and using some characteristics that would help in my decision, I am going to use the Pinewood Derby modified car. It recieved the highest score in the matrix and I believe that it will be the most effective design when it comes to going a long distance. I also belive that it will be the easiest build because the derby car part of it is already put together and all tha will ave to be done to it is it will have to be modified so that the back axle can be seen and a string can wrap wround it.
My Final Design Choice

5.Putting a Solution to work; Making a model/ Prototype:

Model One

Model Two

Model Three