Students Learn Fundamentals in Physics Mousetrap Car Lab


Katie Harris

At the starting line, Jackson Kelley ’19 waits to test his car.

Ms. Judy Grimsley’s physics classes demonstrated their understanding of the fundamentals of physics Wednesday, Sept. 20 and Monday, Sept. 25 by building and racing cars powered by a mousetrap.

“We’re gonna learn a lot about physics, motion and kinematics on a two dimensional scale and how it translates to three dimensional,” Colin Lynch ‘18 said. “It sets it up so that we can learn using physics in a more fun environment which helps a lot of kids learn.”

The hands-on project kick-started the year, allowing physics students to learn about basic physics principles in an interesting way. Each student either worked alone or with a partner to design the mousetrap car, which had to be powered using a single mousetrap only. Bonus points were awarded to the cars that went the fastest, travelled the longest distance, or were most creative.

Working hard, Ninita Narra ’19 and Kriti Subramanian ’19 fix their mouse trap car.

“I enjoyed the project because I’m one of those kids who learns visually and by doing,” Lynch said. “We did this project in a way where we could learn about two dimensional kinematics and apply it to other things in the future.”