Introduction: Understanding Newton’s 3rd Law
Before we delve into designing and building mouse trap cars, it’s important to understand Newton’s 3rd law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is a fundamental principle in physics that explains why objects move the way they do. When you push something, it pushes back with the same force. When an object falls towards the ground, the Earth exerts an equal and opposite force on the object, which is what causes it to move.
In the context of mouse trap cars, this law becomes especially relevant. By harnessing the power of this law, we can use simple machines to build a car that can move without any external force.
Step 1: Gathering Materials
The first step to building a mouse trap car is gathering all the necessary materials. Here’s a list of things you’ll need:
– A mouse trap
– A wooden board (we recommend using balsa wood)
– Four wheels
– Two axles
– A string
– Decorative materials (optional)
Step 2: Preparing the Base
The next step is to prepare the base of your mouse trap car. Take the wooden board and cut it into a rectangular shape, approximately 8 inches long and 3 inches wide. This will serve as the chassis of your car.
Step 3: Attaching the Wheels
Once you have the base of your car ready, it’s time to attach the wheels. Take your axles and insert them into the holes on the sides of the mouse trap. Glue the axles in place so that they stay fixed. Next, take your wheels and slide them onto the axles. Glue them in place as well, ensuring that they’re positioned evenly on both sides of the car.
Step 4: Building the Drive Mechanism
The drive mechanism is what will propel your mouse trap car forward. To build this, take a piece of string and tie one end to the mouse trap’s snapper. Next, wrap the rest of the string around the axle at the back of your car. Make sure the string is taut and that the mouse trap’s snapper is pulled back as far as it can go.
Step 5: Testing Your Car
Once your mouse trap car is assembled, it’s time for the moment of truth – testing the car and seeing how it performs. To test the car, wind up the drive mechanism by pulling the snapper on the mouse trap back as far as it can go. Then, release the snapper and watch your car zoom forward.
Building mouse trap cars is a fun and educational activity that can teach you a lot about the principles of physics – particularly Newton’s 3rd law. With a few simple materials and some patience, you can construct a car that moves using nothing but the power of this law. Remember to be creative and experiment with different designs and materials to see how they affect your car’s performance.
– Newton’s 3rd law
– Drive mechanism
– Mouse trap cars
– Simple machines
– Wooden board
– Physics principles
– Equal and opposite reaction
– External force
– Creative designs
– Educational activity.