Saturday, January 26, 2019

Space Derby ~ Great Salt Lake - Cub Scout Themes - PowWow Books - Pack Meeting Plans

This information for holding a Space Derby was in the 2006 Utah Great Salt Lake Council PowWow book.  This is a great idea, and many of the things that were used back then can still be used today.

To open the PDF  to print this page,  CLICK HERE

Description: The Space Derby is another popular family-son project. It is similar to the Pinewood Derby except the models are miniature rockets driven by propellers, powered by rubber bands along a suspended, heavy monofilament line. The boys, with the guidance of their parents or other family members carve the rockets. Space Derby kits are available at the Scout Shop.
Track: The Cub Scout Leader How-To Book has plans for a Space Derby track on page 6-31. There are also people who rent Space Derby Tracks. Check with the Council for a list.
Starting the Rocket: It is suggested that the rubber bands are not wound more than 100 turns. This will reduce the amount of rubber band breakage.
The Rocket:
  • There are many alternative, non-rocket designs such as: cruise missiles, boats, planes, jets, etc.
  • The little plastic straw MUST go over the hook (not just the shaft as the drawing on the kit illustrates). This is where the rubber bands will hook on. The wire hook will cut the rubber bands without the plastic straw liner!
  • Lubricate the rubber bands (spray silicon, ethylene glycol, castor oil...)! Stretch them numerous times, before loading, then hand wind the bands numerous times before races (20 winds, then 40 winds, then 60,80,100) – this helps relax the elastic properties of the band and makes it more pliable and durable.
  • The plastic dowel at the rear of the Space Derby that holds the rubber bands MUST be kept from rotating. Groove out the back so the dowel can sit in it – do not glue it!
  • Do not glue the front nose/propeller assembly into the front of the Space Derby. It is pulled off to re- load new rubber bands!
  • Do not glue the back dowel onto the rocket. It is pulled off to re-load new rubber bands!
  • The propeller should have the rounded shaft-end pointed into (touching) the Space Derby (this makes
    the bending of the wire easier and it reduces friction.
    Space Derby Alternate: This is a simplified Space Derby Relay. Divide the pack or den into two teams. For each team, stretch a 15-foot length of string between chairs. Before tying to the second chair, insert a cone-shaped paper cup with the tip cut off on each string. Each boy on a team blows the cup the length of the string and returns it. Continue in relay fashion until all have raced.

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