Rat Trap Power Car Racing
Student Guide

M. B. Firman M. R. Gauvin ..

Golden Gate Junior High School
Senior I Activity March 2-3, 1994

Parts With your kit, you will receive

Specification the following


Part Identification



1 4 1 2 1 1 2 4 7 1

MOTOR - Rat Trap "Victor" # M201 WHEELS - made of 1/2 " plywood with a diameter of 21/4 ". BODY - platform of 1/4 " plywood 5 " x 7 ". FRAME - side rails 3/4 " x 1/2 " x 16" long. POWER ARM - 3/4" x 1/2x 30 " long. POWER ARM BASE - piece 1/2plywood 3" x 5". AXLES - 3 "x 1" diameter dowling. AXLE ENDS -pop rivets - screws(1 ") - length of string ,50" - screwstl/z ") - finishing nails (1 ") - washers (5116") - washers (9116") - elastic band - straight pin materials




7 4 5 4 1

You will be required to furnish the following -Duct tape or cotton tape. -Wood glue -Oil (For lubrication) -Sources of weight

You will be required to supply and use the following -1 drill with various bits -1 red handled Robertson scew driver (#8) -1 green handled Robertson scew driver (#6) -1 hammer -clamps (tape will do the job)


Rat Trap Car Building View from the left side

View from above




Where to put the 1 inches screws

Where to put the 7- 1 inches nails

Where to put the 4 pop rivets


Tips for Building the car
- Place the 4 washers between each wheel and the side rail. - On the side rail, make the hole a bit bigger than the pop rivets. - Place an elastic band on each wheel to enhance traction. - Put some weight in the back of the car with wood or metal. - Put oil on the pop rivets to reduce friction. - Try diffrent lengths for the string. You will have to cut the 30 inch stick to approximately 26 inches. - Don't forget that after time the Rat Trap will lose some power. - Try moving the Rat Trap towards the front or the back of the vehicule. - When glueing the wheels on the axle, use a vise or tape to hold it together for 10 to 15 minutes. - Drill a hole before inserting the pop-rivet into the axle. - Find a way to put the string around the screw of the rear axle without making a knot. - Don't forget to place the straight pin at the end of the Power Arm for the balloons competition.


Race Day Competitions in the gym
Students will compete in more than one race and will try to accumulate the maximum possible points. Winners will be determined by the total number of points at the end of the day's competition.

Competition # 1 : The Cross Country Race In this event, students try to acheive the longest distance possible. All
distances are recorded and the three cars with the best results accumulate points. (First place will received 30 points, second place 20 points, and third place 10 points.)

Competition # 2 : The Roadrunner Competition In this event, you will race head to head with 5 other cars. Fastest car per heat will advance to the final race.(In the final race only; first place will received
30 points, second place 20 points, and third place 10 points.)

Competition # 3 : The Precision Shootout
This competition involves bursting balloons from a starting position .. By placing a needle on the end of the Power Arm, students will aim their car toward balloons attached to the floor. Each balloon will have a certain number of points assigned to it.The total number of points earned will be added to your score.

Competition # 4 : Artistic Award
Students are asked to paint, decorate or customize their car. A panel of judges will look for the most creative, artistic vehicle. Points will be awarded as follows: First place will received 15 points, second place 20 points, and third place 10 points.

Be creative and don't be afraid to experiment. The goal of this activity is to transfer classroom knowledge into practical application. Have fun, impress yourself, and may the best vehicle win.



Rat Trap Powered Car

Student Workbook

M. B. Firman M. R. Gauvin

Golden Gate Junior High School
Senior I Activity March 2-3, 1994


Senoir I Activities
Team Number: Members of the Team: _

Name of the team:


This workbook is designed to help you think through the preparation and construction of your Rat Trap Powered Car. The purpose of this activity is to organize your thoughts and develop a scientific approach to problem solving. As this is an activity that is new and different, student cooperation is essential for success. Please answer these questions with as much information as possible. Hopefully, this will result in a more scientifically thoughtout method used to construct your car. In the afternoon of the Science Day, you will work on your car. The next day, you will participate in a series of competitions to determine which car has reached it's highest potential. Every team will receive the necessary equipment that will enable you to complete your Rat Trap Car. Good luck, we hope that you will enjoy your participating in this event. We thank you for your cooperation in advance. T.Q.E. success.


M. Firman & M. Gauvin.


First step: Understand how it works
1- Draw a picture of the model presented to you. Label all parts and put arrows to show where they are located on the model.

2- Describe the type of energy used. What do you have to do to make the model move? What factors are part of this process?

3- What ideas or options could you use to make your car go faster?

4- What could you do to make your car go further?

5- What forces are reducing the speed of the car.

6- Do you think that the strength of the mouse trap has any influence on the car?

7- What is the purpose of the Power Arm attached to the mouse trap?

8- Are you planning to use special equipment brought from home to build your car? Can they be used in this competition? (Check with your teacher.)

9- How could you calculate the amount of work used by your car? Would this be an accurate measurement? Explain.

10- Describe the importance of team work in building a good Rat Trap Car.

11- On the day of the competition, what factors will you have to take into account to eliminate last minute problems? (In other words, think ahead III )

12- What factors will you have to watch for when releasing your car?

13- During your" test runs" have to focus on ?

to see if the model is working well, what factors will you

14- Do you expect your car to perform the sameeverytime

? Explain.'

15- Part of the competition will be decoration and styling of your model. (paint will not be furnished). How do you intend to decorate and style your model?


16- How could the length of the cord influence your results?

17- Describe the goals your team wish to achieve by the end of this competition.

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