Saturday, 22 October 2016

Pinewood Derby

Today we will have the chance to participate in the creation of something completely new and unique. I was offered the opportunity of participating in a pinewood derby! Pinewood derbies are a tradition of Cub Scouts of  Boy Scouts of America. The first derby took place in 1953. Not much has changed since. Each participant is getting the same box.

Inside you will always find the same kit - a block of pine wood, four plastic wheels and four nails that will become the axis.

How can you race a block of wood? Well, you need to work a bit on it. We need to prepare some tools.

First we need a saw and a set of clamps. We will cut the block in halves to improve the aerodynamics. Then we need to polish it well.

The heavier the car the better it races. The maximum weight is typically five ounces (150 grams). To get there, we will use some metal washers.

We will glue the washers with a hot glue gun. Then we can start painting.

Does it remind you of anything?

And yes, I told you. You can take a Polish guy out of Poland but you cannot take Poland out of a Polish guy. My human family not only painted the car in the colours of the Polish flag. They even called it "Winning Warsaw".

Time to go for the race! First, we need to register. Each car is carefully weighted.

Over seventy cars were registered for this derby.

Here comes ours!

The track starts high, since the cars are only moved by gravity. Then comes a long flat part.

The track ends with sophisticated measuring devices that measure the time up till one ten thousandth of a second. On top comes a camera.

Winning Warsaw is ready to race.

Off they go! If you can hardly spot the cars do not worry. The average speed is around three hundred kilometers per hour!

Well, this time we did not win.

Still, the pinewood derby proved to be real fun. I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did. And next year, we will build a better and faster car. I count on your help!

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