Boy racing a mousetrap car

[CANCELED] - 2020 4-H Mousetrap Car Challenge

Sat, 04/25/2020
9:00am - 3:00am
Interlakes High School
1 Laker Lane
Meredith, NH 03253


Due to the public health concern caused by the COVID-19 virus, UNH administration made the decision to cancel all UNH Cooperative Extension events, programs, and noncredit classes through April 5th. The health and safety of our staff and the many members of our NH communities that participate in our programs is most important. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this uncertain time. 

About the Event

The 4-H Mousetrap Car Challenge is a contest for youth eight and older to design and build a vehicle to travel as far 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, it's time to tinker with it to make it go farther.  If you want, you can race your car at the 4-H Makers Expo on April 25 in Meredith, NH.  The car that travels the farthest will be declared the winner.  Awards will be given to the top three cars.

Registration for the 4-H Mousetrap Car Challenge and other Maker Expo events, is open to 4-H members through 4-H Online.

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.


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 their cars, they need to do this on their own.  Although it can be hard to watch them struggle, their struggles and mistakes will help lead them to mastery.  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 then 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?"