Pottstown STEM Students Don’t Build Better Mousetraps, They Build Better Mousetrap Cars

handmade car with cd wheels
Image via STEM with Dr. Eeles at YouTube.
Creating one of these mousetrap cars was a ticket to a Purdue University STEM camp for four Pottstown students.

Although a mousetrap car may sound like something a cartoon cat might use to kidnap prey, it’s a worthy object lesson in STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) concepts. And four Pottstown students recently earned a trip to Purdue University based on their abilities to craft one. Joe Zlomek sprang forward to cover this story in the Sanatoga Post.

A mousetrap car is a small vehicle powered by a mousetrap spring. The Montgomery County competitors who earned the collegiate-level dive into science by crafting one were:

  • Pottstown High School representatives:
    • Austin Sundstrom
    • Mehki Jenkins-Glover
  • Pottstown Middle School winners:
    • Caden Nihart
    • Nye Powell

Both sets of students worked with facility members Andy Bachman (engineering) and Jennie Falco (math) to assemble their award-winning gadgets over several weeks.

Their qualifying heats were held at a local YMCA.

The Sundstrom–Jenkins-Glover racer took off and traveled 100 feet. It was so well engineered that it ran out of track before it ran out of steam.

All four competitors placed first in their respective divisions, which sent them to Purdue’s week-long camp.

The trip included a lunch at the university’s Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, as well as participation in STEM seminars and workshops.

More on these local science experts’ time at Purdue is at the Sanatoga Post.

With just some simple household components, a little time, and some instruction,
a mousetrap car makes an educational project.