What does catching leprechauns have to do with science?
Well, we have to be engineers to figure out the best way to catch one!
Study: The science of traps!
Leprechaun traps are a fabulous way to use engineering and physics concepts in a fun and engaging project! The engineering design process is a bit different from the scientific method, but they have similarities.
Four Types of traps:
- trigger/spring trap
- something gets pulled or disrupted and it causes the trap to spring.
- This trap uses something called a trigger, it could be that the bait is placed somewhere to cause whatever you want to trap to step on it which makes the trap spring into action closing up, trapping your unsuspecting prey.
- trap door (pit) trap
- walk over something where the weight of whatever walks over it causes trap to open and they fall in!
- This trap hides the trap door or the hole by disguising it like the surrounding area, so that the unsuspecting prey will walk over it. When they do, the door falls down and then closes up behind whatever you are trapping!
- single entrance trap
- go through one way, there is no way out the way you came in
- This trap allows your prey to get into it easily, but when they turn around to come out, uh oh, there is something blocking them, or they might get hurt if they try to go the other way.
- sticky or holding trap
- causes whatever walks on it to be stuck or held in the trap because they can’t move. (not a very nice trap)
- Ms. Carleen does NOT LIKE this trap because she feels it is cruel. If you trap something on it, they can’t move or get off and they will only hurt themselves trying all the while getting more and more stuck to the trap.
In addition to scissors and tape, we suggest you raid your recycling bin and craft closet!
These are suggested items – you don’t need them all!
other similar sized boxes
paper towel tubes
an old shoe…
Decorate with whatever you’d like – perhaps your trap is flashy and shiny, maybe it’s camouflaged and blends in with just the bait to entice… your trap is as unique as you are!
Gold foil wrapped candies
Anything that looks expensive
Here are some ideas you can use to ignite imagination and spark creativity (highlight the text area to read the ideas!)
- leprechaun dust (it looks like glitter)
- muddy, leprechaun-sized footprints (thumbprints using flour or cocoa powder)
- a green hat (or thimble)
- green water in the toilet (food coloring should do the trick)
- a shamrock dropped by one of the wee folk in his haste (dollar store has many items)
- sometimes there will be green candies or treats!
- you also might find gold pieces, stickers, or…
- a mess! (Remember that leprechauns are quite into mischief!)