Monday, April 4, 2016

Mouse Trap Challenge!

It appears we have a slight mouse problem. Some sort of new "Brain Mouse". <Insert Starship Troopers reference here> This mouse has evaded all attempts to be captured. He has no interest in any of our conventional mouse traps which leaves us thinking outside the box for a more unconventional trap. Fortunately enough we seem to have a think tank of STEM students in need of a good engineering challenge. Who can come up with the best mouse trap and rid us of our sneaky little uninvited guest? The volunteering students at a local middle school will be submitting their built designs to their teacher and delivered to me to be placed around my home. The student who designs and builds the best mouse trap will be named champion and receive a brass mouse trap trophy. The student's designs will be judged based on originality, functionality, and how well their design amuses me.

Updates and pictures after the jump!

Five students submitted traps on Friday. They have been placed, set, and are waiting for Fievel to show himself. We never told the contestants to name their traps so I will pick names for them.

Number 1: "Francois Restaurant"

A string hanging from the ceiling holds the bait. Possibly a bowl of pea soup? The string is routed to a swinging trap door that should close off the doorway and trap the unsuspecting Bernard and Miss Bianca.

Number 2: "Stuart's Coffin"

All we know about this trap is that the mouse can overcome the door into the box, but will never find its way back out. It is still a mystery what fate will come to Mr. Little after entering for no one knows what is in the box. <Insert Se7en reference here>

 Number 3: "Wedge of Starvation"

 The cheese inside of this small cozy shelter may be quite a delight if you are a temperate little mouse, but we know far too well that this mouse is greedy and will always come back for more. If all the cheese is this trap is eaten the string holding the door up will come down in a hurry and trap the mouse. Only a smart mouse which eats only a moderate serving of cheese will live to tell his tail.

Number 4: "Hotel California"

You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!"

Theory behind this one is that the mouse can open the door flap from the outside, but not the inside. If it actually has frosted flakes in there it may just trap me instead. I love frosted flakes. They're great!

Number 5: "Disney Land"

The theory behind this trap is a new take on mouse traps all together. Much like Disney Land is a trap for humans set by a mouse, this trap is a theme park for mice designed to make the mouse never want to leave. It comes equipped with honey coated sugar cubes, blankets, tubes to play in, and quite possibly a day spa. If mice manage to come across this gem they are sure to stay. Plus, it appears most the materials are recyclable.

Number 6: "Bottle Shock"

Although we have seen this design used in the past, the execution and resourcefulness does impress. Paper clips, card board, and hair bands. When the mouse, or human, presses down on the ramp, the bottom of the bottle closes shut with great force leaving the mouse shocked and trapped and unable to crawl out of the bottle. 

That's all the designs for this year. We haven't yet seen any signs of mice interactions with these traps, but  we will give them another week before finally revealing who the winner is.

I also made a mouse trap just in case none of the former do the trick either. Its my take on the pivoting bottle trap, except this one should reset itself and is capable of catching 5 gallons worth of mice in one sitting.

I have since increased the off delay to be 8 seconds.

The winner this year was the wedge of starvation!! Although none of the traps actually caught any mice This one has been named the winner for originality as well as ingenuity. We especially enjoyed the posters inside to prevent the trapped mice from getting bored.

Here's the trophy I made for the winner.

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