Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
September 2022
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Soap Box Derby

“My two sons built their cars and wanted to compete against each other at home prior to the real race. I built a simple racetrack using materials I had on hand. However, I only had materials to build a one-lane track.

“I had planned to run the cars individually and use a stop watch to time each car. So, son A would put his car at the top and let it go. I’d start the watch, and when it got across the finish line, I’d check the time. But when we attempted to hold races I discovered that the cars traversed my very short track in such a short time that I could not start and stop the watch fast enough to accurately measure the times such that we could really determine which car was faster.

“My younger son, who was eight years old, came up with a solution. Remember, all we had were the two cars, the short test track, the stop watch and the three of us.

“What solution did he come up with?”

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7 guesses to Soap Box Derby


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  • Kayla

    You changed the inclination of the track so that the cars went down slower.

  • you made it less steep

  • Dude

    No, keep trying.

  • Melody

    One of two scenarios:
    1. Set the finish line further out so that you can have time to start and stop the watch.
    2. Send one car down the track and let it go until it stops, mark how far it made it. Then send the 2nd one down and see where it stops. The one that travels the furthest was the faster car.

  • Dude

    No that’s not it. Keep trying.

  • Captain Canada

    A tie? The times were too close to be differentiated.

  • That is it Captain Canada. It just doesn’t make sense that an eight year old would concede a tie. You are today’s winner!