Other Design Challenges

Egg Catcher
Mobile Equilibrium
Marshmallow Tower
Toothpick Bridge
Windmill Windup


Engineering Design - Mouse Trap Car

Design Statement

Design and Build and self-contained vehicle, using only a mouse trap as a source of power, that will travel exactly 4m and stop.


The vehicle may be constructed out of any material. there are no maximum limits for mass, length, height or width. The only restrictions are that is has to have at least 3 wheels, have a standard mouse trap permanently attached and remain as a unit.


Testing Conditions

There will be a 2.0m wide starting line. A 2.0 m wide target line will be placed exactly 4.0m away, parallel to the starting line. Each vehicle must be released from rest at the starting line. Once the vehicle stops, the distance from the target line to the front end of the vehicle will be measured. Each entry will have two runs. The longer run will be used for breaking any ties.



1. How does the trap actually power the vehicle?

2. Rat traps are twice the size of mouse traps. How would this change the outcome of the test?

3. Which designs seemed to work the best? How would you redesign your vehicle for a new (future) test?

Possible Extensions

1) Mouse trap cars designed for speed, measure distance and time and determine which car is the fastest

2) Mouse trap cars designed to carry a weight

3) Mouse trap cars designed to go a long distance.