How to Catch a Mouse: Simple Machines at Work

Perfect for Elementary Schools!

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Some people know science is fun. Others need to be convinced.
A stage show combining math, science, and art, How to Catch a Mouse has entertained thousands of audiences.

Balloons are used to construct a Rube Goldberg-style mousetrap intended to solve the problem of a mouse on the loose. Many student volunteers are used to aid in the construction of this working machine. Student knowledge of how machines work and their eagerness to set their trap in motion make this an enjoyable show for everyone involved.

Goals
  • To introduce or reinforce concepts about the nature and structure of simple machines.
  • To encourage problem solving.
  • To present an unusual art form to students.

Grade Level

Children of all ages from kindergarten through middle school can benefit from this program. Presentations to younger grades focus on the concepts of simple machines working together and encourage problem solving skills through the use of common objects. The names and functions of the basic machines are stressed. In addition to the basics, older children are presented with a bit more information on the forces in nature that affect the way machines work.

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