Magazine article Techniques

Got 300-Pound Mice?

Magazine article Techniques

Got 300-Pound Mice?

Article excerpt

We've all "oohed" and "aahed" at weird and amazing spectacles in the Guinness Book of World Records. Who can forget the man with the world's longest fingernails or the world's longest spaghetti noodle?

After reading about the standing record for the world's largest mousetrap, David Leeson--an occupational work experience coordinator at the Columbia County (Ohio) Career Center--thought his students could do better.

In January last year, Leeson and about 30 students in various career and technical education courses divvied up the job that would take them nearly five months to complete. The record-holding mousetrap was 6 feet tall, so Leeson's class set a lofty goal of 9 feet 10 inches.

To mimic the look and structure of a real mousetrap, pre-engineering students used a Victor brand mousetrap to draft blueprints and then enlarged the dimensions 30 times. Several students were tasked with garnering business and industry support for the project. Welding and machine trade students designed and built the metal portions of the trap. And construction students produced the wooden base. Auto body students contributed the finishing touch by painting the trap and adding the Victor logo--a definitive warning to 300-pound mice.

But while the project was good practice in teamwork, the real test was yet to come. "You couldn't call it the world's largest mousetrap unless it worked," Lesson says.

To prove the rodent-stopping ability of the huge trap, the class positioned it under a balcony and auto body students took on the dangerous task of springing the trap. …

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