Headlines at Hopkins
News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

December 7, 2007
CONTACT: Phil Sneiderman

Media Advisory:
Students to Race Flippy Cars' Powered by
Mousetraps, Rubber Bands

Batteries NOT Included: Freshman Engineers Make Vehicles That Run on Cheap' Energy

WHEN: 11 to 11:50 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, 2007
WHERE: The first-floor hallway of Latrobe Hall at The Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md.
WHO: 13 teams of Johns Hopkins students in a freshman mechanical engineering course will compete in a single-elimination Flippy Car Tournament.
WHAT: Students were instructed to design and build "Flippy Cars," powered only by the energy stored in rubber bands and mousetraps. Each team was given two mousetraps and six rubber bands and told to build a vehicle utilizing only these power sources. Some pre-manufactured materials and components were allowed, such as the wheels from a model car, but the vehicles could not be built mainly from kit parts.
THE RACE: In the competition, each vehicle must be able to travel 10 feet, flip over and then continue for another 10 feet in the original direction of motion. Each vehicle must stay within the boundaries of its lane during the entire round.
WHY: While working on their projects, students have been learning about design approaches, potential and kinetic energy, friction, prototyping methods and other topics relevant to mechanical engineering.
Allison Okamura, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

More information about the design project and competition rules can be found at this Web site: haptics.lcsr.jhu.edu/wiki/images/4/41/ Freshman_project_fall07.pdf