Friday, March 11, 2011


We had a great time today making racecars powered by a mousetrap. Jacob and Cade came up with the best design, by extending the level, more string was pulled out and the car went further. After we ran the cars the first time, one of the boys decided that adding rubber bands to the wheels really added to the traction and the car went much futher with the wheels just spinning in place. All in all it was a great learning experience!

A few days prior I send the following email: Luke and I made some cars...the one that worked the best was a simple one made from: 1 mousetrap 1 paint stir stick 1 4" wooden dowel (5/16" diameter) 4 washers that the dowel will fit through to secure wheels 2 cds/dvds that you don't want to reuse 2 #14 eyescrews (the dowel needs to fit into these....I tested mine at the store) thin sturdy string (I will bring this) Although the original directions called for a pingpong ball I didn't have one and the car still ran far straighter than anything we made with 4 wheels......I think that alternately you could use rubber bands to hold the wheels in would probably need 4 per wheel. They also suggest putting a balloon around the wheels for traction, but I have a latex allergy so I didn't try it....... Remember you are free to make ANY design you like, just bring directions and materials with you!

From: the Riesenbergs
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 7:58 AM
Subject: Invention Convention--Reminder

Reminder----- Friday March 11 (Symmes Library) 10 AM to 12 PM. We will build cars from 10 AM to 11 AM and then begin "racing" them at 11 AM. Grant and I are working on a couple of different cars and I hope to be able to send you pictures and supply lists for those cars this evening if you want to make the simple cars we made. I will be providing string and glue guns for everyone. Is anyone willing to bring a roll of duct tape to people to use if they would like? Items needed: mousetrap (1 per car) additional items to build your car (please look at the websites and decide which car you want to make and bring supplies and directions with you!) Pick whichever car you want to build, the only rule is that the car can ONLY be powered by the ONE mousetrap! Feel free to find other designs! These are just a few suggestions!

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