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Your town has been overrun by hungry mice, who are eating everything they can lay their paws on. We have found a nice new home for them in the country, but first we need your help to catch them. Please build a mousetrap for us that can catch a mouse without hurting it.
Levels of difficulty:
Level 1 - Make a model of a mouse Level 2 - As level 1, plus a mousetrap which can catch the mouse without hurting it Level 3 - As level 2, plus a release lever which can let the mouse out again when we have taken it to the country
Equipment: KNEX set.
Approach: What does a mouse look like? How big is it? How can you make a KNEX model of a mouse which is about the right size, and looks as much as possible like a real mouse? For level 2, think about how you could catch the mouse without hurting it. Where will the mouse be held when it is caught? What happens to the trap after the mouse goes in, to prevent it escaping? Why does the mouse want to go into the trap? - you can use a yellow connector as a piece of cheese if you want! For level 3, can you built some sort of lever which you pull or press to open the trap up again, to let the mouse out?
A fascinating project which requires ingenuity and lateral thinking. The simplest models are often the best. Children can often do this project better than adults, as the latter tend to have preconceived ideas.
Possible solution: See photo.
Before starting: Talk about why you might want to catch a mouse.
Conclusion: Compare all the different ways that have been used to achieve the objective.