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Physics Students Teach Cub Scouts the Science of Speed

Members of the Randolph College Society of Physics Students spent their Saturday morning with the Cub Scouts of Pack 48. They conducted a hands-on workshop, applying the lessons of physics to build faster Pinewood Derby race cars.

A longtime scouting tradition, the Pinewood Derby challenges scouts to build a wooden race car from a standard kit and then race them on a track. The competition begins within a pack and carries over to regional councils.

Professor Peter Sheldon and his students gave a physics lesson on how weight, gravity, speed, stability, friction, drag and other variables affect a car’s performance and then broke out into groups to test different designs and setups.

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