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Mini-Car Jump

Hosted by the Bachelor of Technology McMaster / Mohawk Joint Venture

Maximum number of teams = 20 (4 teams/slot)
Number of competitors per team is 4 students.


This event requires advanced preparation.

Build a self propelled car, able to run a ramp, make a jump and land safely a specified ground distance of 1 meter. Starting at the ground level, the car must first travel a horizontal distance, run up the ramp, then jump and land on its wheels at ground level. (The car must have two separate axes with 3 or 4 wheels.)
The jumping distance will be measured from a ground level line parallel to the ramp’s jumping edge to the landing marks left by the back wheels of the car. The landing surface will be hard based with a thin layer of sand to allow for measurements.


  • The car may be purchased, but the PROPULSION system and the RAMP must be built by the team prior to the day of the event
  • The car must have a dedicated "Top Side" to identify whether it flipped after landing
  • The propulsion system of the car must NOT use electricity or gasoline, including compressed CO2 (it can be actuated by rubber, spring, air, etc.) and must be located entirely on the car
  • Air trapped in a balloon is safe and is considered an exception to this rule.
  • PLEASE NOTE: chemical reactions will NOT be accepted due to safety concerns
  • The mini car has to be self-propelled - e.g. one cannot start the car's motion with an external force by a kick or a hit of a hammer.
  • No remote control of the car is permitted; no adjustments are allowed during car motion
  • There are no "test jump trials" allowed during the competition. Teams can adjust their car but they cannot go longer than the allocated time slot per team.
  • If necessary, teams are allowed to pause (only once) to fix their car and resume later. In such cases, the next group can start their time slot, and the group with the fixed car can resume at a later time and use their remaining time. Once the car leaves the ramp a jump trial is considered used.
  • The weight of the car must be between 0.1 and 2.0 kilograms, including the propulsion system
  • A ramp must be built to allow the car to jump; there are no restrictions on the materials used to build the ramp
  • The shape and size of the ramp is unrestricted EXCEPT that the total length of the ramp must be less than 1 meter (measured horizontally), and the ramp surface should be open without any railings


  • Each team will be allowed to run five (5) jump trials with a final mark averaged from the best three individual marks
  • A proper landing is considered when the car lands on its wheels; points deducted if car flips afterward
  • The car can flip in the air, as long as it lands on 4 wheels
  • Jumps will be judged with a mark out of 10 based on the distance between the 1 meter target and the actual landing spot of the rear wheels
  • In the case of a tie, the group with the jump closer to 1m is the winner

Marking criteria:
  • Jump is exactly 1m = a mark of 10
  • Jump is greater or less than 1 m target = mark is prorated by percentage of error (i.e. car jumps 1.2m, then there is a 20% error, reducing the mark by 20% such as 8/10)
  • Car does not land on its wheels at all = a mark of 0
  • If, after a proper landing, the car flips on its side = - 1 point
  • The car flips with wheels up = - 2 points

Competitions (2016):

Note: Click on an event names
for more info

- Biotech to the Rescue!
- Chemical Forensics
- Civil Canada Arm
- Egg High Drop
- Global Water Challenge
- L.E.A.P.'s Keep it Hot
- Mechanical Transporter
- Mental Gymnastics
- Mini-Car Jump
- Oodles of Noodles
- Photonic Puzzles
- Physics Paper Triathlon
- Pictorial Essay
- Software Challenge
- Teachers Challenge
- The Speeding Brain
- Twists and Turns