Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pinewood Derby Car Stands

Jorja was so excited about her derby car the other day and couldn't wait to make a stand for it so she could display it proudly. She helped me find plans for making a stand online.

I cut the boards but she had fun sanding, drilling and screwing it together.

Next week she wants to paint the stand a nice shiny blue.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slot Cars

A couple of years ago, Santa Claus brought the kids a slot car set for Christmas. At the time, they were a little young to appreciate it, but they have recently rediscovered it.

Stockton, Preston and I spent some time together building some pretty cool tracks and racing slot cars. Preston was pretty cute racing, watching, and being an obstacle for the cars.

One of these days we might try to hook up some proximity sensors above the lanes and program a microcontroller to count the laps and lap times for the cars, showing them on a little LCD screen. That would be a pretty cool project, and I should have all the parts we'd need...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Super Blooper

Stockton's cub scout pack had their pinewood derby today. I was proud of Stockton, Jorja and Maysen for working hard on their cars this week!

After the derby, we raced all our family's cars on the track. Out of our group, Jorja's Super Blooper car was the fastest...

It was fun watching Stockton's races during the derby. He did pretty well and made it to the semi-finals. Here is his car racing against the Mach 4 car from Speed Racer and Sponge Bob Square Pants' boat...

Way to go Stockton!

Pretty nice looking car, Stockton... Jorja wants to make a stand like this next week for her car.

My batmobile did pretty well. It looked good, but I was too chicken to fire off the rocket motor with all the people away. We wouldn't want anyone getting hurt....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Derby Days

Each night this week the kids and I worked on our pinewood derby cars. Tomorrow is the big day!

Jorja did a great job polishing her axles today. She was so cute working the drill press.

Here are some more pictures from the week of sanding and painting...

Here are the finished cars. Maysen's is the burgundy one, mine is the batmobile, Jorja's is the white Super Blooper and Stockton's is the red one with flames.

OK, I'll admit that the batmobile does have a few tricks up it's sleeves. Besides the working headlights and tail lights, it also has a remotely controlled rocket motor hiding in the back.

I made a similar rocket car a couple of years ago. It took off like mad and smashed into the cinderblock wall of the church. I'm not sure if I'll really fire this one off or not - I'd hate to see if smashed into bits, but we'll see...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cat in the Hat Hats

Jorja told me that she wanted to make Dr. Seuss hats today. We did a quick search and found some good instructions here. They say to use construction paper, but we didn't have any that would fit around our heads, so we opted for postboard. It's stronger anyway.

One of the things I love about Jorja is that she is always thinking of other people, and about kind things she can do for others. She wanted to make hats for both her teachers, herself, and a friend. (Actually, she wanted to make them for everyone in her class, but making 20 or so of these is more than I was willing to take on).

Stockton saw the hats and wanted one, so Jorja said he could have the one she made for her friend. She is so nice!

We used the left over scraps to make some cute cat-in-the-hat bowties to go with them.

I love how Jorja comes up with these fun ideas!