If you have any pet rats that may need some transportation, look no further than Mr. Barlow's Engineering classes. His students were tasked with a project that produced many different options for any "Rats" that may be in the market for a car.
They were very specifically designed cars that had to meet many different requirements while the students were learning about the principles of mechanical advantage paired with kinematic equations. There are few projects better suited than the classic Mousetrap Cars. However, they upped the to level up with some more powerful equipment – RAT TRAPS!
The student's tasks were these:
Task: It is up to you to design and build a Rat Trap Racer to drive for distance or acceleration. In addition
to optimizing your design, you will take measurements to calculate your design’s average speed,
average velocity, and acceleration. Please follow the steps below to create your racer:
1. Design: Draw, dimension, and annotate either one (1) Isometric 3D sketch or three (3)
orthographic 2D views or design your car using 3D Modelling Software.
2. Build: Build your design according to your design (you may make changes as long as they are
noted in your sketch.
3. Race: Test your racer and record the data in the tables to calculate your speed, velocity, and
Design Constraints: There are a few limitations on the materials and other essentials for this design
challenge. Follow the constraints below to fulfill the rules and regulations of the competition.
1. Propulsion System: Racers may only be powered by the rat traps or mousetraps themselves.
2. Number of Traps: You may use only one (1) rattrap or up to two (2) regular mousetraps.
3. Independent: The trap racer must operate 100% independent of outside influences.
4. Overall Size: The car must be no larger than three (3) feet or 36 inches in any direction.
5. Weight: Car must weigh at least two (2) pounds no more than five (5) pounds.
The students then had to do measurements and calculations for each car. Including total weight, maximum distance traveled, the total time from start to stop average velocity of racer.
Then they had to show all their work on how they calculated the velocity.
There were some pretty intricate cars and the students had so much fun.
THANK YOU, MR. BARLOW FOR PROVIDING SUCH AN AWESOME HANDS-ONE LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR OUR STUDENTS
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