Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tricky Trap!

Have you ever heard of a car? Yes, probably. But have you ever heard of a car powered by a mousetrap? I doubt it, considering it's not the most common thing...that is, unless you go to Laguna Middle School.

8th graders will soon begin scrambling, attempting to gather the necessary materials needed to make a moving vehicle, with a mousetrap. Luckily, not all students will be looking for the exact same supplies seeing as there are 4 categories to select from. These are, "fastest, longest distance, most unique design for propulsion, and cutest" as Mrs. Jones notes in the "Mousetrap Cars" objective. Though it appears that the entire project is technical, it also requires some science knowledge. 60 percent of this assignment requires the 8th graders to be able to explain Newton's Laws accompanied by vocabulary words and how they apply to the car. This means that only 40 percent of this project is about the performance of the car! This strenuous task has been assigned as of January 6, 2015 with a sneaky deadline of February 11, so think fast 8th graders! This time is going to fly by!

All students must have a fair chance, so there have been some rules applied to ensure an honest competition. These rules permit the students to craft the wheels (no toy wheels or anything that is intended to be a wheel), have the standard size mouse trap, have the mousetrap spring (if it is being used) permanently attached to the car, no push or pull mechanisms to start the vehicle, and rubber bands are NOT allowed to be used as part of a string device to make the wheels turn. These are set rules in order to make sure that no student has an advantage over another for an equal competition. Fair play is key in a friendly competition between peers seeing as it gives you the real winner. Students will prepare their supplies, make sure the car moves, then see if they can win their competition!

"The mousetrap car project is an opportunity for students to apply what they learn in class and to think creatively to design a working vehicle powered by a mousetrap. By doing this now, hopefully students will continue to be creative thinkers in their future and will come up with amazing new inventions that will help humanity!" describes Mrs. Jones, a science teacher hosting this event. Some 8th graders may begin to take this competition more seriously as time progresses, more seriously than other competitors. But in the end, it's just an entertaining way to learn and to broaden your skills! There will be some interesting vehicles in the Laguna gym on February 11th. Past creations include helicopter cars, hot-dog cars, Spongebob Squarepants cars, and even mouse cars! Yes, there are a lot of mouse-themed mousetrap cars this time of year, how ironic. If  the previous inventions are any indication, there will be some unique, interesting vehicles to be seen at Laguna!

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