Johns Hopkins freshman mechanical engineering students competed in an annual rite of passage, entering 23 cleverly crafted contraptions in the school’s annual “Mousetraps & Rubber Bands” race.
The competition, which features a different challenge each year, was held in Shriver Hall’s grand auditorium as the final assignment for the Freshman Experiences in Mechanical Engineering course. Aptly named “Hang In There,” this year’s assignment was to use two mousetraps, six rubber bands, and $15 of materials to build a vehicle that will start on a cable (five feet above the ground), traverse it (without falling), and release a payload (a 20-gram weight) in order to hit a bull’s eye drawn on paper below. There’s no pushing, or pulling. Vehicles must battle friction and convert stored energy to propel vehicles forward and release the weight.
The 2012 winner is “Release the Kraken.” The team included Luke Brown, 18, of York, Pa., Evan Adamo, 18, of Syracuse, N.Y., and Josh Harris, 18, of West Windsor, N.J. Each student on the team received a $25 Barnes & Noble gift certificate for each student on the team.