2013.10.21

The Track

Well, we somehow survived another Nerdy Derby event, and while it was a little chaotic, those involved definitely had a good time. None of this would have been possible without the help of Frankie and the DCRL at UWM. Be sure to check out Frankie’s most recent post about building the track.

Track Plans

Everyone at Milwaukee Makerspace was surprised at the size of the track. We’ve had the CAD files for more than a year now, and talked about building an “official” track, but we owe Frankie (and his students!) a big THANKS for making it happen. They put a lot of work into it, and we definitely appreciate it.

Last year we just used a plain old Pinewood Derby track, and I must say, this year was way more interesting! We had a lot of kids building cars, and besides the cars looking hilarious and awesome, we learned that cars fell off the track… a lot! (This turned out to be a good thing.)

Derby Car

Kids are pretty darn creative, and they came up with some crazy cars, and many of the cars fell off the track and hit the floor below, and parts flew off. I was joking that this taught them a valuable lesson every member of Milwaukee Makerspace already knows: When something breaks, we fix it. I don’t remember seeing any kid get upset about their car breaking into 10 pieces. They just picked up as many pieces as they could find and headed back to the build table to try again.

So here’s the deal… We’re going to have another race, maybe before the end of 2013, maybe early in 2014, but this time we’re gonna let Frankie choose the date so he will not miss it!

(If you’re interested in sponsoring the Nerdy Derby, get in touch with me. It really is a fun and educational hands-on event for kids… of all ages!)

3 Responses to “A Nerdy Derby Thanks”

  1. andy paullinNo Gravatar says:

    will there be “D” sized rocket engines next time??

  2. andy paullinNo Gravatar says:

    oh and thanks all for MAKing this happen, good fun!

  3. Frankie FloodNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks so much, Pete! I talked to Bryan today and he gave me a re-cap on the event. If you guys decide to do a dedicated Nerdy Derby Event; let me know. Bryan and I will come over and work on the track a bit to get it super smooth and level so all of the cars are more likely to stay on the track. It would be good to give the whole track a smoothing. We could do this well in advance of the event so everything was ready by race day. I’d love to test a car out anyway.

    Do the folk at Makerspace need me to disassemble or are we O.K> to keep it up until we set a date for a new race?

    Thanks again for letting us make the track. It was really awesome to be able to build it.

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