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Freshmen Build Mousetrap Powered Cars

Each year, the freshmen learn various topics about physical science including an introduction to Chemistry and Physics.  During the year, one of the topics of study investigates motion and forces.  At the end of the unit, students have a better understanding of velocity, acceleration, and how forces can be applied with simple machines. One fun project that students complete requires them to build a car powered by setting off a common, spring-loaded mousetrap.
The requirements are simple.  Students must use their knowledge of power, leverage, and friction to move a car at least one meter (about 3 feet) in distance.  The car must ride on two axles and cannot be given a push or receive help from a motor.  Students are then asked to bring in a qualifying car to compete in an overall distance competition.  

Students research ways to reduce friction so their car will roll farther, reduce weight so their car will accelerate faster to build up momentum, and apply the proper leverage from a mousetrap to an axle on their car.  Students are allowed to use more than one mousetrap for added power, or they can even add the very popular rat trap with a stronger spring.

The mousetrap cars entered in 2014 are inventive and creative, as are the stories accompanying the building process.  Congratulations go out to all 25 contestants to complete the 3-foot challenge, especially the top car from Micayla Warriner whose car rolled 76 feet.  Honorable mention (in no particular order) go to Kyle Otto, Tavish Hestermann, Peyton Huls, Taylor Larkins, Tori Bredvick, and Zach Krieger that all had car which rolled farther than the walls of the science room.

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Freeman Public Schools415 8th StreetP.O. Box 259Adams, NE  68301

p. 402.988.2525f. 402.988.3475

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It is the policy of Freeman Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, age or national origin in its education programs, administration, policies, employment or other district programs.

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