Snap! Catch Students' Attention with Mousetrap Vehicles

Imagen de Wilson Javier Gonzalez-Espada
PDF versionPDF version
TítuloSnap! Catch Students' Attention with Mousetrap Vehicles
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AutoresRoberts, E, González-Espada, WJ
JournalTech Directions
Pagination15 - 18
Date Published2006/05/00
ISBN NumberISSN-1062-9351
Palabras claveAviation Education, Aviation Mechanics, Design, Educational Strategies, Hands on Science, Inquiry, Models, Motor Vehicles, Physics, Problem Solving, Science Activities, Science Education, Science Projects, Teaching Methods

The current paradigm in science education calls for greater emphasis on guiding students in active and extended scientific inquiry. This is supported by research suggesting that using a hands-on approach to learning fosters ownership in the learning process and allows students to gain greater appreciation for the design and implementation of scientific methods. With this in mind, the authors call attention to a challenging and highly educational physical science project: construction of a mousetrap car. Mousetrap vehicles allow students to design, construct, test, evaluate, and modify designs to reach pre-established goals. In this article, the authors share their experience assigning the construction of mousetrap vehicles for high school physics and college physical science students and encourage physical science educators to incorporate hands-on, open-ended activities in their courses. They also introduce an innovative activity that expands the mousetrap car concept into having students create mousetrap gliders. (Contains 2 figures.)