The Mousetrap races began in the spring of 1977 at Yuba College. Originally started just for the fun of it, the races became an annual event, drawing students back time and time again. Had not the event been canceled one year because of budget restrictions, it would be celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary.
This year’s races (there are two: the drag race and the distance race) were held Wednesday, May 2, at 2:30 p.m. Although The American Society of Mechanical Engineers establishes rules for this event, Yuba College students have made rules of their own.
For the drag race, which is a competition of speed, a Butte College student took the win. Lance Thomas placed first with his “Butte1” coming in with a speed of 1.51 seconds. Raquel Lopez of Yuba College was not far behind with her car, “Garrapata,” coming in at 1.59 seconds. Third was “Snowball’s Chance,” created by James Mock, Dan Simeroth and Kaylee Alves with a speed of 1.91 seconds.
“Snowball’s Chance” also placed third in the distance race, going 13 feet. Second place went to “The mouse that roared,” created by Dave Lamb, going 15.1 feet. More than doubling that distance was Gina Quiroga and Quynh Dang’s car “Drag Raster,” going a total of 36.5 feet.
More information can be found at www.ms.yuba.cc.ca.us/mousetrap/mouse2001
Steve Klein, Math and Science professor, loves running the mousetrap races, especially for the satisfaction of seeing the students’ faces. He said, “It’s very satisfying to see the students who think it is a challenge, and then watch them develop and handle it very well.”
Some students were a bit nervous; others thought the contest was a bit silly, but most of them will come back again. Why? Perhaps the question is best answered by Gina Quiroga, who said the races were very educational and challenging.