Saturday, February 6, 2016

He Blinded Me with Science!

Nate had his first Pinewood Derby.

He put a lot of thought into what he wanted his car to look like.  Because he's fascinated with the ocean, he designed a hammerhead shark.  Dad did the big cuts and then Nate did all the sanding and finishing.

It has a back fin and a hammer head.  He painted it himself, including red eyes and gills.  He was very pleased with his design,

Then we started racing the cars.

Let's just say Hammerhead wasn't ahead.  A lot of the Dads had obviously helped A LOT with these cars.  

A little boy was very disappointed and I could see tears welling up in his eyes.

"Hold on, buddy," I said.  "Let's look at this."  

I pulled him up on my lap and we looked at the track and watched the different speeds for the different cars as the race continued.  I explained the design of the track and how the design of the track meant that any car with weights on the bottom had drag and friction as the weights impacted the clearance on the car.  I talked about gravity and airflow and pull.  

"All those things as acting on all those cars, Nathan, and each of those forces is impacting the speed of each car.  It doesn't mean you didn't do an awesome job or that your hammerhead isn't amazing.  It's just science and it's acting on each of those cars."

He was quiet for a bit.

"So, wait... you're saying science WANTS me to lose??"

(sigh... one more time from the top)

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