Pinewood Derby Teaches Ferndale Scouts about Physics, Trust and More

Pinewood Derby Teaches Ferndale Scouts about Physics, Trust and More

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Feb. 14, 2019)

Ferndale, MI- What makes a pinewood derby car the best?  It’s a question contemplated each year by the boys (and girls) of the Tigers, Bears, Wolves, and Webelos of Cub Scout Pack 1221 in Ferndale as they prepare for the annual Pinewood Derby.

The kids (and family members who wish to race in the siblings or adult race) start with a block of wood and wheels.  The blocks can be sanded or carved and decorated.  The cars may weigh up to 5 ounces, so weights and decorations can be added. Then the cars are raced in heats, giving each car a chance to race in each lane. And the winners get trophies that were made by the third graders in the Bears’ den.

Ian Williamson is the Den Leader for the Tigers, which is a group of first graders that includes his son.  The derby, which took place Feb. 9 at Ferndale High School, is the third for the Williamson family, and the first with Ian serving as Den Leader.

“This is great for the kids,” he said.  “Planning takes a couple of weeks. The kids research how to make the cars go faster. They learn about the design process and they take time to think about what they want.  They get to work with their parents on this really big project. It’s the biggest project they do, so it means a lot to them.”

“Plus they’re learning about basic physics, like where to put the weight to make it faster.  How to make it more aerodynamic. How to use lubricant to spin the wheels faster,” Williamson added.

Each Scout learns a pledge of 12 goals, aspiring to traits like being helpful, kind, thrifty, brave, clean, and loyal.  Before the race began, the Souts recited the pledge and listened to a story read by Cub Master Robin Galloway.

The story about a little pinewood derby kit that waited a long time before being picked out by a special Cub Scout.  The car had to trust that one day it would be able to race.

And the car had to be trustworthy to its Scout.  “Being trustworthy is important in each stage of our lives,” Galloway said.  She explained that each kid had to be honest when designing their cars, and making sure to stick to the rules.

Nine year old Lincoln Zdenek was among the Bears racing Saturday.  It took the nine year old two days to paint his car green and silver. “I like those colors,” he said when asked about the choice.  He also bent the wheels to reduce friction and help it maintain a straight course.

He placed third among the Bears with his creation. Plus he got to spend quality time with his dad in the process.

Here are the race results. Scroll past to see the pictures!

Top Three Fastest Cars Overall

1st – Clark Kokotovitch

2nd – Lucas Kokotovitch

3rd – Ivo Jungmann

Tiger Den

1st – Lucas Kokotovitch

2nd – Aiden Jones

3rd – Hugo Williamson

Wolf Den

1st – Dominic Caporale

2nd – Malcom Devine

3rd – Augie Winne

Bear Den

1st – Clark Kokotovitch

2nd – Theo Cooke

3rd – Lincoln Zdenek

Webelos I Den

1st – Ivo Jungmann

2nd – Henry Williamson

3rd – Lincoln Cook

Webelos II Den

1st – Reese O’Berry

2nd – Zachariah Smith

3rd – Elliott Sears

Siblings Race

1st – Claire Kokotovitch

2nd – Sabine Jungmann

3rd – Arden Jungmann

Adults Race

1st – Nick Kokotovitch

2nd – Scott Galloway

Special Awards

Most original – Dominic Caporale

Best Craftsmanship – Samuel Heggen

Most Epic – Samuel Heggen

Scout’s Choice – Sullivan Chism

Looks Fastest – Clark Kokotovitch

Most Epic Sibling – Arden Jungmann

Most Epic Adult – Scott Galloway

Learn more about Pack 1221 on Facebook.

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