Monday, March 2, 2009
Levi participated in his first Pinewood Derby this past Saturday. For those who don't know this is an activity participated in by Cub Scouts. Now the rules state that the Cub Scout is to do as much of the work as possible. So this provided a great opportunity for Levi to learn a couple of things. The first was to design the car.
As you can see he went for a modern looking police car. He drew the design himself and so the next step was to carve the design out of the block of wood. I drew the design on the car and using a handsaw carved out the design. Now you are asking yourself how is it that Levi didn't carve out the car? Well I figured an 8 year old carving a desing with a handsaw was a bad idea. So instead I taught him how to cut wood with a saw without ruining his car. He thought it was cool to be able to cut wood with a saw.
The next step was to sand the car smooth so it could be painted. Levi did 95% of the sanding on the car. I did the remaining 5%. He learned that by smoothing the car it would run better on the track and be more aerodynamic.
Levi wanted to paint the car himself and do the painting design himself. This he did. Now was it a perfect paint job? No, but it was a good job for the first time an 8 year old was painting. After the first coat had dried, Levi went to sanding off again to get the drips and rough spots. A second coat was added and the car was ready to go.
The big day came and we went to the racing site where the car had to be checked in and weighed. The car could weigh up to 5 ounces. When we got there the car weighed about 3 ounces. So we added weights to get the car up to 4.9 ounces. As you can see it wasn't and elegant job so next time we will work on the weights better.
The above picture shows the start of Levi's first race with his car. He had four races total coming in 2nd, 4th, 4th, and 1st. He was very happy with his performance. Levi got the award for "Excellent Performance" as part of the activity.
Overall his first Pinewood Derby was a huge success. I can't wait to see what he thinks up for next year's car and how much more he will do to work on it. I left the activity feeling very proud of Levi as well as knowing that he learned several life lessons that will serve him well.