Uploaded by Kimberly Cox

Pinewood Derby Car

Pinewood Derby Car Challenge
Worth 100 points- Project Grade
You and your team have been hired by Elon Musk to create a new car for his Tesla
brand. To submit your idea to Elon, you must first create a scale model of your design.
The scale model will be tested for speed, air resistance, and style. In order for the Tesla
to sell, it also has to look good!
You are not allowed to use the following materials:
● Pre-fabricated cars (such as RC, matchbox, and other toys)
● No pinewood derby car kits (must use an original design)
Your model must meet the following requirements:
● The car must fit on the test track. It should not be wider than 4 inches.
● Your car should be between 6-8 inches long.
● A construction drawing with measurements and analysis must be submitted
before track testing.
● The car must be able to reach the end of the test track. Failure to complete this
task will result in a low grade.
● The majority of your project must be completed in class. You may bring pieces
that you want to add from home, but not the car itself. This is a team project!
Hints and tips:
Remember these words of wisdom: “Measure twice. Cut once.”
Test your structure before the test track and evaluate if there are any weak areas.
Try to minimize frictional forces on your car. Remember, friction is everywhere!!!
Four wheels and two axles will be supplied to each team. If you lose them, they
will not be replaced. So make sure to take care of them!
All points are equal to an overall grade of 100
20 points
The car meets all required specifications. It is between 6-8 inches long
and is no more than 4 inches wide. It has attached wheels and appears
capable of completing the test track.
20 points
A clear, detailed construction sketch was completed. Construction
materials should be easily distinguished. All important design features and
all critical measurements should be labeled on the sketch.
20 points
A structural analysis of your car was completed. The following questions
should be answered clearly and completely:
· Why did you choose the design of your car? Is the shape of the car
beneficial to minimizing friction and increasing speed? How?
· During construction, how did you test your car and make sure it
was capable of completing the test track?
· During construction, what have been your biggest challenges to
What are the strongest parts of your car? Why?
What are the weakest parts of your car? Why?
20 points
Calculate your car’s mass, velocity,and acceleration. What amount of
force was applied to your car during the test track?
10 points
Create a free body diagram of your car on the ramp (at a 45 degree
angle). Label all forces that will be acting upon the car during the test
10 points
Car is able to complete the test track. There is no structural damage
during testing.
Monday 4-26
Blueprints must be submitted by end of class
Wednesday 4-28/Thursday 4-29
Structural Analysis completed and submitted
Friday 4-30
Car Testing on the Pinewood Derby Ramp
Monday 5-3
Free body diagram and Calculations are due
** The only day for the Derby race is Friday, April 30th **