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Mousetrap

Have you or one of your coworkers recently built an innovative gadget or developed an improved way to do a job?

If so, now is the time to show off a project your municipality is proud of in the 3rd Annual Build a Better Mousetrap Competition.

The MDT2 Center is looking for projects that you, your employees, or crew designed and built. It can be anything from the development of tools, equipment modifications, and/or processes that increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of transportation.
 
If you have something you think would qualify for this competition, submit your entries by Friday, May 19, 2017. Entries will be judged by MD T2 Center employees on cost savings/benefits to the community, ingenuity, transferability to others, and effectiveness. 
 
The winning entry will be submitted into a Regional Mousetrap competition (Delaware, Maryland, Pennslyvania, Virginia and West Virginia) as well as a National Mousetrap competition to compete for prizes and, of course, bragging rights. Winners of the national competition will be announced at the annual LTAP/TTAP national conference this summer. All entries at the national level will be posted on the LTAP/TTAP program website and compiled into an electronic booklet.
 

To enter the competition, complete the entry form and return it by Friday, May 19, 2017.  

 
If you have questions, please feel free to email them to ckeane@umd.edu, or call Carly Keane at 240.304.9627.
 

2016 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition Winner:

Entry Title: Sign Stabilizer submitted by the Cecil County Government
Problem Statement: When hanging dual street name signs, we were having a problem with the signs folding under the high winds, and working free from the mounting hardware.
Discussion of Solution: When thinking about the problem, the solution came easy. When putting the two signs together, they would be harder to move without moving the post. I have been using them now for about 4 months, and not a single loss.
Labor, Equipment, and Materials Used: ½ inch pvc pipe cut into 2” pieces, 3” x 3/8” bolts, nuts, and washers.
Equipment used: Chop saw, drill with 3/8” bit, and a 3/8” wrench. To put this together takes only a few minutes. Cost: The cost for each post is $1.25 plus the 10 minutes it takes to install them.
Savings/Benefits to the Community: The average street sign cost roughly 48.00, the loss of 10 signs cost you $480.00. Resolving that cost you $13.00.

For photos and more information, view the Technotes article

To see the full list of winners, view this Technotes article.

Judging Criteria

The competition is judged on the criteria listed below within the framework of a five-point rating scale. Provided is an example matrix that lists each of the judging criteria and assigns each entry a rating of one through five. The winner is the entry that has the highest number of overall points.  
 

Judging Criteria

Five-Point Rating Scale

  Cost   5 = Excellent
  Savings/ Benefit to the Community   4 = Very Good
  Ingenuity   3 = Good
  Transferability to Others   2 = Fair
  Effectiveness   1 = Poor

 

 

Cost

Savings/ Benefit to the Community

Ingenuity

Transferability to Others

Effectiveness

Overall Total

Entry # 1 3 4 3 3 4 17
Entry #2 5 4 4 3 4 20
Entry #3 2 3 4 2 3 14
Entry #4 5 4 5 4 5 23