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Pinewood Derby

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

My son is fascinated with cars. We travel a lot and he sits in his car seat & looks at the cars passing by. Most of our conversations are about what make, model & color of car is next to him. I have always loved looking at fast cars too, so I kinda know where he gets it from. Although I stopped updating myself with the makes and models, because life got busy; I have started keeping up again for him. Because while driving I have to answer to the little quizzes he throws at me. Mama, look at that green one on the right, tell me which one is that? mmm that is a Chevy Bolt I say. He replies, are you sure you said Bolt and not Volt ?!?! Yes I am sure. I love our little game & he has learnt pretty much all the names of the cars, and I am fascinated by how well he memorizes the names just by hearing it.

This weekend our gym organized a Pinewood Derby Competition & we decided to take part in it.

What is Pinewood Derby ?

The pinewood derby is a racing event for unpowered, unmanned miniature cars. For this race you have to build your own car from a block of wood. Below is the picture of the Pinewood derby kit. The finished car must use all the pieces, but cannot exceed a certain weight limit provided by the organizers.

The kit consists of:

  1. A block of wood – you can shape it in the shape of a car

  2. 4 plastic wheels

  3. Metal Axles to hold to the wheels

  4. A set of Rules

The race track usually looks like this.

Gravity is the force that accelerates the car & air & friction helps it slow down. So while building the car you have to keep in mind to maximize the potential energy of the car & minimize the friction of the wheels and the air drag. To minimize the friction from the wheels, we lubricated it with graphite powder. The whole Saturday was spent in efforts of making the car faster & prettier!

We had two contenders for the race. One is the BooBoo car(left), the other is Mr. Spidey(right).

We went to the gym & got our car measured for the necessary weight & then our cars were put together with all the contenders in the race.

The race began. Our cars did not win the race, but we got the Judge’s choice award for the most creative cars.

Since we didn’t win in the speed category, we plan to work on improving the specifics of the car for the next race! My son was a little upset at not winning. But we told him the most important take away from it was how much time & effort we as a family put on building the car. My son plays mostly with cars, and now he is playing with the cars his daddy made! These are the little memories we make as a family, by doing things for each other. He was not too convinced by our explanation, but I know he will understand it one day.

What are you making for your family today?

#family #handsonparenting #Pinewoodderby #racing

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