I go to cub scouts every Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Tuesdays, I also have ASA (after school activity), so that day I get home later than normally, about 5pm. Tuesdays are very busy but I am enjoying being a cub scout. One of the must fun things the scout do each year are building the Pine wood derby cars and racing them.
Our den master Andre passed out the car kits a few weeks ago so we’d have time to make our own cars. My dad said it was up to me how we designed/paint the car so I looked on Google and YouTube and there are so many videos and information about how to make a pine wood derby. Who knew. Dad said, many of the fancy cars on the internet, clearly, the dads (who are rocket engineers) made the cars, not the kids. He said he wanted me to design the car. Ok, sure thing.
I decided I wanted a simply design, a slanted hood of the car, then paint it with lots of red and flames of FIRE. One video talked about putting weights on or inside the car to increase speed. They said put up to 5 grams of weight on the car and ideally, place it just behind the front wheels. We didn’t have any fishing weights but had plenty of (foreign) coins laying around so I selected two, about the size of a US quarter but heavier. Next, we had to figure out how to attache the coins. Maybe glue them or tape them…?
My dad came up with the idea to embed the coins inside the car. Using a very sharp knife, he slowly dug out a circle shape on the top of the car. I sanded it down to make it smooth, then we placed the two coins inside the hole. Next, he found a candle and we dripped wax over the hole, filled up the hole. Coins are now invisible, cool.
I took care of the painting, found some permanent markers. Used red, yellow, orange, purple and black and in about 20 minutes, had the entire car looking like a paint job. After we attached the wheels, my car was ready to race!
The Tuesday meeting before the race, we had to bring the car to the meeting for the official weighing. I think they wanted to do this to verify the car wasn’t too heavy. The top limit was 5.0 gram and I think my car weight in at 4.5grams.
The day of the race, it was actually snowing! Hadn’t had much snow this winter, so kinda nice. Although I did remember the government warning from last year, “do not eat the snow.”
The race was held at ISB (international school of Beijing), way out by the airport. Looking at all the other kid’s car, I was impressed. Clearly, a lot of kids had put in a lot of time making their cars. So many cool design ideas.
The cars would be raced on a really long wooden track that held four cars at a time. With automatic starting gate and timer, it was a fancy set up. My den, the Bears, would all run together, each car getting 4 races. The first, second, third place finishers, and best design would all win trophies. All others received medals.
The first race for me, I was nervous but the car did great. Finished 2nd, out of four. Then the next race, again finished 2nd out of four. Yes.
The third race, I crashed! Flying off the track. And the final race, didn’t crash. At the awards ceremony, I knew I didn’t finish in the top three. But there was the best design trophy…..
And I won it !!!!!!
The whole gang:
A good time was had by all. Can’t wait until Pine wood derby day, next year!