MICDS Sixth Graders designed and build pinewood derby cars as part of their STEM curriculum.

6th Graders Zoom with Science in the Pinewood Derby

Scientists in 6th grade recently competed in a pinewood derby race, the culmination of a STEM activity that allows students to see science in action. The students worked in teams of two, collaborating to design and fashion a car that would compete against their peers. They had to obey strict parameters such as weight and wheel workings, but they were free to decorate their cars creatively. Students used the Maker Space to shape their cars and took to the test track in the lower level of Danforth Hall. They experimented with the shape of the nose and weight distribution, refining their designs based on their test runs.

Teams gathered in the MAC atrium this week for the big race. Four cars sped down the track at a time, and the winner of each heat advanced to the next round. The excitement was clear as students cheered for their cars and celebrated victories. Even Middle School Science Teacher Kelly Long and JK-12 Science Chair Bob Shaw got into the action, racing their own cars. Mr. Shaw was hoping to earn back the Fastest Car at MICDS title after losing to Mrs. Long last year.

Certificates were given to the top three finishers, and fun awards were distributed for Best Design, Coolest Ride and the Elon Musk Award for Innovation.