Mousetrap Vehicle Activity

This activity is not for sale. It has been replaced with the updated Mousetrap Vehicle 2.0 .

This discontinued product has been updated to the Mousetrap Vehicle 2.0 which allows for even more builds and innovation! Check your label to make sure you're on the correct page.

Click here to go to the Mousetrap Vehicle 2.0 page! (You're in the wrong place.)

You're in the right place! Scroll down to find documents and resources.

Snap!!!! is not the sound you want to hear when racing a mousetrap powered car. Your design will gradually use the power from the mousetrap, swinging lever arms, torqueing axles and driving the car forwards. Design it for drag racing (using most of the mousetrap’s energy close to the start line), or for distance (spreading out and optimizing power from the mousetrap). Friction, structural integrity, and Newton’s Laws are a few of the many physics concepts you’ll want to design for.  It’s off to the races…

Mousetrap Vehicle Educational Goals

  • Utilize design and engineering process
  • Encourage creativity, critical thinking and problem solving
  • Learn about kinetic and potential energy
  • Apply the scientific method
  • Innovate (design, build and evolve your own unique vehicle)

Completing the

Mousetrap Vehicle Activity

Ages 9 and Up

If you are working with ages 9 and up, start with the Build Guide, then move on to the Engineering Challenges.

MS Word or PDF - Which document format should you download? Always download the PDF document, unless you want to edit/change it. If you want to edit/change the document, download the MS Word (Microsoft Word) version.

     Build Guide     

Start by creating an example Mousetrap Vehicle using the Build Guide. This will be a great design to get you started. You’ll begin to create your own amazing designs during the Engineering Challenges.

  • Build Guide: PDF

     Engineering Challenges     

It’s time to redesign your Mousetrap Vehicle to compete in one or more engineering challenges. Use these challenges to solve design problems and improve your prototype.

  • Mousetrap Long Shot Challenge: : PDF-- Race your vehicle farther than the competition.
  • Mousetrap Engineering Notebook Page: PDF-- Design your vehicle to be the fastest.

STEAM Market-It Challenge

Add the STEAM Market-It Challenge to any completed TeacherGeek activity to teach students how to turn their TeacherGeek design into a retail product. Students will learn the 4 'Ps' of marketing - Product, Placement, Price and Promotion. Students have the option of completing a commercial, a billboard or retail packaging as a summative assessment.

TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need

What tools will you need to do this activity?


Process Description

Recommended Tool 

Alternate Tool


Cutting dowels, strips, recycling bin items, etc.


Saw, Pruning Shears


Change splined holes in components from press fit (dowels press and stay) to loose fit (dowels are able to slide and rotate).


#3 Drill Bit and Drill


Tighten and loosen screws



Sets of tools can be found here.


Make your Mousetrap Vehicle even better by incorporating recycling bin material.

Mousetrap Vehicle Components

What's in the Mousetrap Vehicle Activity?

Component: 10pk Quantity: Single Quantity:
Connector Strips 40 4
Tires 20 2
Wood Screws 40 6
300mm Slide-Stop Material 2 1/3 (100mm)
Mousetraps 10 1
Perpendicular Blocks 60 6
Wheels 40 4
Dowels 40 4
Stop Clips 20 2
Cable Ties 40


This is an educational product and not a toy. It is intended for use by ages 9 and above with adult supervision. 

Science, Math & Engineering Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Standards Download - PDF
NGSS Standards Spreadsheet - Editable /Searchable Excel Sheet

International Technology & Engineering Educators' Association Standards
ITEEA Standards Download - PDF
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet - Editable/Searchable Excel Sheet