Physics and Astronomy

Peculiar Par Three
Objective To design a device, which will hit a golf ball a distance of three feet, whose only source of power is a rubber band. The golf ball, while traveling on the course, must put out a birthday candle, set off a mousetrap and end up in a paper cup.
Purpose To explore energy, kinematics and develop creativity.
Participants Teams of up to four.
Materials Standard PGA regulation golf ball, standard rubber band.
  1. The student may not be closer than 12 cm to the device when activating it.
  2. No restrictions will be placed on the location of the candle, mouse trap and paper cup.
  3. Each student will take his/her turn on a time.
  4. Should all tasks not be completed, a second turn will be allowed. For example, if the candle was put out but the mousetrap not set off, the candle must be re-lit.
  1. Sets off mousetrap 50 points.
  2. Puts out candle 50 points.
  3. Golf ball enters and remains in cup. 50 points.
  4. Creative ideas for the device (subjective judgment) 10-50 points


  1. Each start (after finish) - 15 points.
  2. Golf ball not traveling a minimum of 36" - 20 points
Source Youth Science Foundation Science Olympics Manual.

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