Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pinewood Derby is around the corner

If you haven't had the chance to pick up your Official Pinewood Derby kit, please see Mr. Rodie to do so or be extra sure to pick it up at the next pack meeting!  Our Pinewood Derby is set for April 11.  Registration and vehicle check in will be Friday, April 10 from 6-9 pm at the church.  We will be setting up the track so you can try your car out, make any last minute repairs and check that baby in!  The official scale will be there and we will be checking car dimensions to be sure everything is in compliance for the big race!!

The race will be at 9:30 am the following morning.

There are all kinds of ways to enhance your car's performance.  I've collected some for you here to check out.

Put the weight in the rear
Improving upon the weight distribution of the car once you've cut the body out.  Check out Pinewood World.

Are you a physics geek that wants to know the whys behind the how?  Check out this and this.

A favorite blog of mine actually summed it up quite nicely

All the speed in your son’s car will come from POTENTIAL ENERGY being converted to KINETIC ENERGY. When the car is at the top of the track, ready to go down, it is full of potential energy, or the force of gravity pulling the car back to earth. If the track were to suddenly disappear, the car would fall to the ground, converting the potential energy to movement, or kinetic energy.

Theoretically, the fastest the car can go is the speed at which it would be traveling as it fell right before it hit the ground. Of course, your car (or your son’s car) won’t be going that fast since it loses some of it’s kinetic energy to FRICTION and other forces. Friction losses come from the rubbing of the wheels against the side of the car, against the axles, and against the track. There is also a little bit of friction from air, called drag. Energy is also converted into rotational energy, i.e. the spinning of the wheels.
So in essence, we want to maximize the potential energy in your car and minimize the losses due to friction and other forces. While I can’t give away all our secrets, here are a couple of tips to do just that.
Need to find a template to cut your car?  Check out here, here and also a ton of designs here.  Oh, and since Minecraft is SO big, how about instructions for a Creeper car.  Find that here.

Dremel actually has an interactive tool online where your son can pick out the design and it will give you a printable template for which to build his car!  How cool is THAT?  There are all kinds of stickers and decals available at hobby shops.

There is so much good information and ideas out there!  Just let your fingers do the walking!  You'll be overwhelmed in no time!

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