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Physics Students Get Creative with Mousetrap Cars

Cranberry High School students Josh Hacherl (left) and Maria Anderson watch as a self-designed mousetrap car successfully rolls down the hallway. (By Dylan Lu/Student contributor)

Student contributor

If you were walking through the halls of Cranberry High School recently, there’s a good chance that you might have seen some odd contraptions rolling past you.

These contraptions happened to be mousetrap cars created by students as a part of the energy unit in Zach Bedee’s 11th-grade physics classes. The goal of this project, popular among the physics classes, was to create a small vehicle propelled by the stored energy generated by a mousetrap and a constructed arm.

Students were given the opportunity to design three cars for different functions: speed, distance, and hill climb. After they built their cars, the students were required to race them throughout the halls to gather information for calculations and to see whose vehicles would go the fastest or the farthest.

The races brought both entertainment and friendly competition into students’ typical routines.


Devin Zerbe and Dylan Lu are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications class.

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