Mouse Trap Catapult
Description: Prior to the competition, participants will design,
build, and test a mouse trap powered catapult that will launch a ping pong ball. The
device will be demonstrated and judged for range (distance that the ping-pong travels).
The event should occur inside a gymnasium and should be made available to students in
advance of the competition.
Number of Participants: 1 or 2
Grade Level: 5 - 12
Approximate Time: Students may demonstrate their catapult at any time within an
The catapult can be constructed from any
standard-sized, (1 3/4" X 3 7/8")wood frame
commercial mousetrap. No rat traps are allowed.
NOTE: All mousetraps must have been altered in some way; merely
placing a ping pong ball directly on the wire bail will not be
allowed. Entrants must have designed some type of holder for the
ping pong ball and the wooden trap base must have been mounted on some
type of larger platform.
1. Springs of mousetrap may not be tampered with.
2. Wooden base may not be removed, but may be attached to another base material.
3. Anything may be attached to any part of the mousetrap unless it is used to stiffen the
4. Spring height may not exceed 30 centimeters from the floor.
5. The participant(s) name should be displayed on the catapult so that it can be easily
6. Triggering devices may be added to the mouse trap.
1. All mousetrap-powered catapults will be impounded prior to the event and retained by
the event supervisor until the end of the competition. Immediately prior to the
impounding, a one-hour period will be made available to the participants to perform
preliminary tests on their catapults.
2. Participants will be given 3 opportunities; the best distance will be taken as the team