When I was younger, I absolutely loved the Pinewood Derby, the miniature car building and racing competition that we participated in as Cub Scouts. Recently, I was talking to a group of fellow ITP students and we thought, wouldn’t it be fun to hold our own derby, but with no rules? The idea took off and before we knew it, we had a CNC’ed track, an Arduino-based timing system, and a bunch of interesting cars made out of materials like Lego bricks, plaster, cheese, golf balls, and of course, wood. Our first race was a ton of fun, and we’ve decided it would be great to let everyone try it out at World Maker Faire New York this year! We’re calling it the Nerdy Derby and we’re still filling in a lot of the details about the competition, but check out our site for what we have so far. We’re looking forward to racing at Maker Faire New York!

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

  • caitlinsdad

    Pinewood Derby Flugtag FTW!

  • Ellis Wood

    I enjoyed pinewood derby’s. as a Scoutmaster we had a derby for the older boys with the only rule being “No open flames” of course we stipulated that the cars had to fit on the track, so a second rule… but we had a blast. just make sure the wheels are on straight or the car with the anvil on top won’t roll down the track!