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
1st – Lucas Kokotovitch
2nd – Aiden Jones
3rd – Hugo Williamson
1st – Dominic Caporale
2nd – Malcom Devine
3rd – Augie Winne
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
1st – Claire Kokotovitch
2nd – Sabine Jungmann
3rd – Arden Jungmann
1st – Nick Kokotovitch
2nd – Scott Galloway
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.