Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pinewood Derby Car Race

It's Cub Scout Pinewood Derby time! Each boy in the Cub Scout pack was given a pinewood derby car kit at the Cub Scout Christmas party. The kit is just a small box that mostly contains a simple block of wood and some other essential car parts. There is a lot of work before the block of wood becomes a race-winning car. But Nicholas loves race cars and Stuart couldn't wait to get in the garage and teach his little guy about using power tools!

Nicholas wasn't sure where to begin with designing his car so Stuart suggested that he pull out some of his favorite Hot Wheels cars so they could talk about some of the features that Nicholas likes the most.

Nicholas drew a few different designs on paper and then he transferred the final design to the block of wood. Then he got to hang out in the garage with Daddy and the tools.

This was his first time to do anything like this and certainly his first time using a Dremel. He was totally pumped about it and had a great time.





I'm so proud of Nicholas for being excited about his work and for taking the time to do his best instead of just playing around with it and rushing through it.

Next Nicholas sanded the car and it was ready for paint. He primed it and gave it a base coat of green.



He then did some design work with the blue and gold paint.



And, of course, every race car needs flame stickers!



Off to the race!

Nicholas finally got to check out his competition. These are all cars from his buddies in his Tiger Den. I love the one that looks like a Wii remote!



Nicholas got assigned number 22. Go 22!



The track was set up through the middle of the room. This was our first derby race and I must say it was a bigger production than I had really anticipated.



Nicholas was quite excited!



I was really impressed with the high-tech components in the timing process. This is a shot from the car's perspective as it is approaching the finish line. The timing system not only records the order in which cars cross the line, numbers their winning position, and then displays the car's number, child's name, speed, and winning position on the big screen for all to see. Quite a neat production for a little cub scout wooden car race.



To start the race, the cars are lined up at the top of the ramp. There is a bumper that keeps them all in place.



When it's time to go, one of the scouts releases the bumber and the cars zip down the track by gravity. Shape of the car is important for what little aerodynamics is involved but weight of the car is probably most important to help pull it down the ramp faster.




As they cross the finish line, the readout above each car's lane states it's winning position. Each car makes 6 runs, one in each track position. Nicholas got first place for the first several races.



Nicholas was loving it!



At some point, the weights on the car started loosening and the jiggling may have affected it's speed because he soon started dropping in his position. However, he finished in second place for the Tiger Cubs and 5th place overall for the pack.



Way to go! High five!

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