How to conquer Cub Scouts through a Rules-Legal Pinewood Derby Car, using Science!

Anyone who’s ever met a Cub reconnaissance knows about the pinewood derby, it’s arguably the coolest point they do. Well it’s the coolest indoor task they do at least. The idea is, children all get an identical block of wood to construct a car, v their mother or Dad together a helper / mentor. Typically Dad gets lugged away, takes over the build, and our Cub scout is left through the extremely necessary (cough…Bu!!$#it) job of “sanding” the last product.

I personally was a Cub scout from period of 6 and also I had actually both a Grandfather and an Uncle who jumped in ~ the opportunity to help build car withme. Yes, i did a heck of a most sanding. Unfortunately, us were 100% aesthetically focused. Ours cars were total duds top top race-day. I believe they call these “trailer queens,” lock were all show and also no-go!

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What we never interpreted was the physics come maximize speed of the wooden vehicle on our sloped track. Each Cub it s okay the very same block the pine, wheels and also axles and nails. The rules dictate maximum size of the car body, and maximum wheel base and also weight. So the trick is maximizing every one of the size to gain the faster car. Without also watching the video clip I have the right to tell you I acquired my butt-kicked by the boy with the wedge “doorstop” on wheels every year!

Mark Rober does an awesome project of breaking under all the variables that create the most speed. He also consults v an yes, really physicist to recognize the prefect cooking recipes fir pinewood success! it’s all about correctly convert potential power into kinetic energy. As with real-world auto-racing, it is all around center the gravity and also weight-transfer. By properly placing load in the vehicle, a smart builder will gain potential energy and thusly kinetic energy! Dang! Why no 8-year-old me understand this science!

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7 key Steps come Pinewood Derby Success:

1. Max load ~1″ in former of rear axle 2. Reasonably aerodynamic 3. Drive on 3 wheel 4. Lightweight wheels 5. Bent polished axles 6.


You are watching: Fastest pinewood derby car world record


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Railride/alignment 7. Too many o’ graphite

Check the full video clip for the details and watch him develop a car in 45 minute – applying all of these tricks, and whipping increase on the competition!