The Student Prints

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The Student Prints

The Student Prints

Force equals mousetrap times acceleration


Look out Stuart Little–here come the physics classes. Physics students recently completed their annual mousetrap car project.

Led by physics teacher Jon Engel, students were given three weeks to complete the assignment of building a mobile contraption using a Victor mousetrap. The cars were to be driven by no force besides the mousetrap, according to Mr. Engel.

Once launched, the cars were to travel 25 feet while carrying a 12 ounce can of pop. One point was given for every foot the car covered.

On October 28 and 29, the class took to the hallway to test their cars, while being timed and measured by Mr. Engel.

“During the two nights of testing I got a total of seven hours of sleep,” junior Noah Froelich said.

Students could perform test runs as many times as they wanted, attempting to achieve the farthest distance and longest time.

“We spent 24 hours trying to fix the car to get it to go from eight feet to a goal of 12 feet; but, hey, it moved,” senior Sindyha Rajan said. “Actually, it ended up going 14 feet in the end.”

In general, building materials other than the mousetrap included four CDs for wheels and wood to make the base of the car.

Some students made their cars from scratch, while others used a kit.

Extra points were awarded to the creators of the three cars who went 25 feet down the hall in the lowest time. Seniors Yaya Hu, Lance Lu and Dominik Konik had the fastest cars. Their times were 7.99 seconds, 8.03 seconds and 8.05 seconds, respectively, according to Mr. Engel.

“I was really frustrated because the first day it didn’t go at all–it wasn’t until fifth period the next day it started to move,” Hu said. “Once it started, it went all 25 feet.”

The slowest time travelling the whole distance was 39 seconds, achieved by senior Julia Nistel’s mousetrap car.

Maggie Figliomeni, Co-Editor

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