Faster Pinewood Derby Cars
March 25, 2002
My last year in Cub Scouts, my
pinewood derby car took first place in the Pack and District, and third in
the Council races. I
wanted to find out how to make the fastest car. We’ve heard lots of tips and
theories, but didn’t know which actually made the cars go faster. I decided to test each tip to see
what effect they had on the cars.
To do this I needed a track with a timer so I could measure the speed of
the cars. My dad built a
track with a lane timer for the tests.
We ran each test at least five
times and took out the high and low times before averaging. My dad made a chart on the computer with
spaces for me to write in the times for all the tests I was going to run. We started by timing three cars
together with no modifications. Then
we made changes to the cars and tested each change to find the difference. After I ran the tests, we put the
times into the computer to average and graph the
My dad helped me build two cars
using the tricks we tested. We
raced them against my fastest Cub Scout car. One of the new cars was faster and
the other was a little slower than my old car.
Next I’d like to try to find out
why one of the new cars is faster than the other and I’d like to test
more tips we’ve found on the Internet.
Continue to Hypothesis