4-H Mousetrap Car SPEED Challenge @ the Makers Expo


Sandwich Fairgrounds
Main St.
Sandwich, NH 03227
United States

mousetrap graphic
Cost: Free

The 4-H Mousetrap Car Challenge is a contest for youth eight and older to design and build a vehicle to travel as fast as possible, powered solely by one standard-sized mousetrap.  Anyone can build a mousetrap car.  You will need some cardboard or other material for a car body, DVDs or other round objects for wheels, some string, a few other things, and, of course, a mousetrap.  Once you build a car and make it work, take time to tinker with it to see if you can make it go faster. 

Race your car this spring at the 4-H Makers Expo.  Cars will be electronically timed of a 15-foot distance.  The car that travels the fastest will be declared the winner.  Awards will be given to the top three cars by age category.

Building a mousetrap car is not too hard, Click to learn How to Build a Mousetrap Car.

If you want to compete at the Makers Expo, click to find the Mousetrap Car Challenge Rules.

Registration opens April 1st.

Parents, please note The Mousetrap Car Challenge is a youth contest and mousetrap cars must be built by youth.  While it is tempting to step in and build or fix your child's car, they need to do this on their own.  Although it can be hard to watch them struggle, their struggles and mistakes will help them build patience and skills.  Ways you can help and support your youth include:

  1. Let them struggle a little, then ask supporting questions like, "What do you think is making it run crooked?"
  2. Sometimes you can add your observations like, "I noticed the wheel rubbing against the body, how do you think that affects the car?"
  3. Build your own car along side them and show them each step as you each build a car together.
  4. Avoid negative comments and pointing out mistakes.  Instead help them see what went wrong and encourage them to make changes.  "I noticed that the wheel is really wobbly, what do you think would happen if you straightened it out?"