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1st annual LEGO race at my school (looking for ideas)

MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
Hello everyone!

I'm fishing for ideas for a fundraiser that I suggested for my elementary school.
March 31st will be our 1st Annual Boulevard Heights Elementary LEGO car race.
It will be open to Kindergarten through 5th grade.
I'm thinking a $5 entry fee to help raise money for the PTA.
Was going to make maximum dimensions of cars 3 or 4 inches wide by 8 inches long. 
All parts, including wheels, must be LEGO.
No glued pieces.
No cars that came from a LEGO set (I don't want someone just building a car from instructions, I want them to be creative and utilize their engineering skills)
Should I allow DUPLO? I know they won't be the fastest but some of our ASD students and kindergarteners may only have DUPLO.

Each grade will be paired on its own and a winner will be announced for each grade level.
A grand prize will be awarded out of the top racers from all the grades (they will all race for 1st place for entire school). 

Basically we will race race cars down ramps and time them. Winners will be fastest times each race. 

But I don't just want to award winners of fastest cars.
I was thinking of other awards too, so as not to leave people out if their cars lose in the first round.

So do any of my LEGO friends have any suggestions or ideas on how to make this event better? 
Any ideas on rule tweaks? 

Thanks to all!





rd1899ClutchPower

Comments

  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,278
    edited February 14
    I would allow Duplo to encourage more participants (especially since your goal is fundraising, and because there'll likely be a lot of younger siblings who don't want to be left out), but maybe have some kind of very low-cost consolation prizes on offer - a cheap piece of candy for every participant, say. (I mean, I know there's a lot of debate about how kids should learn you don't always win, but in practice if you're managing an event with a ton of kids, sometimes you want to bow to practicality and keep the mood sweet!)

    Maybe keep some sandwich bags handy, too, in case anyone's car falls apart and they need a quick, easy way to take it home, or go somewhere a little quieter to rebuild for the next round...
    MattPetersenJackad7
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    I did go to the LEGO Store and bought two pick a brick buckets of wheels, axels, and some longer bricks and platforms to use as bases for kids who may not have LEGO that want to participate.

    I agree with using DUPLO (for younger grades), I wanted to see if anyone has any negatives about it (other than the wheels being slower). So thanks for helping me cement my mind on that. 
    I also know that some of our ASD cluster students have issues putting things in their mouths and that's probably the only type of LEGO blocks they'd have. 

    I also agree with smaller prizes. I bought some LEGO party supplies at cheap and some of the discounted minifigure keychains that were $1.50 at the LEGO store as secondary prizes.
    also picking up LEGO Batman stuff from McDonalds as prizes.

    I am still trying to come up with some other award categories. 
    catwranglerClutchPower
  • norm103norm103 Member Posts: 179
    I would say not to stress about 100% lego brand parts. Most kids will have other blocks too. Also maybe offering a little kit from pick a brick parts.  That they can buy for a few dollars, as not ever kid has lego. 
    nkx1catwranglerClutchPower
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    edited February 14
    Oh I don't want it to be LEGO 100% I'm sure some kids have megablock or something and they don't distinguish.

    I just don't want them finding a way to attach model car wheels or pine box derby wheels to their cars and unleveling the playing field.
    I'll make sure to specify, thanks!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 13,916
    You might also want a prize for furthest distance travelled rather than just fastest.
    catwranglerMattPetersenJern92
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 695
    edited February 14

    I'm not sure where you live in FL (higher/middle/lower income area, etc.), but obviously not all kids are fortunate enough to have a ton of Lego to be able to build a car from scratch and participate. Therefore, it may be appropriate to allow a kid with any Lego car to participate, whether the car is scratch-built or whether it's a $4 car set built per instructions.


    If the goal is to have fun and to maximize participation (i.e. maximize the amount of cash raised), then it would seem that the most business-savvy thing to do would be to allow any kid with any Lego (or any block brand) car to participate. Coincidentally, this seems to be the most inclusive and kind-hearted option as well.

    catwranglerkiki180703ClutchPowerMattPetersen
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 553
    Be sure to state in your rules whether or not motorized vehicles are allowed. The pull-back motor in #8647 would certainly provide an unfair advantage over non-powered rivals, and if you don't explicitly rule it out somebody will show up with one. Or maybe that's only in Connecticut...
    catwranglerSwitchfoot55kiki180703ClutchPowerMattPetersenJern92
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 423
    You may want a weight limit, as well as different categories based on wheel types. Train wheels run much faster than pin-based wheel system. You might find the Lego Derby rules from Brickworld helpful: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wxZmXJ-vlU5ueoIFv3uUKTpDDOd7jfc_44HHDZsG5rw/mobilebasic
    MattPetersen
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 423
    I was thinking of other awards too, so as not to leave people out if their cars lose in the first round.

    Maybe include a design category as well?
    MattPetersen
  • ClutchPowerClutchPower Austin, TexasMember Posts: 180
    Great idea! Not sure if this would make sense, but you could do coolest design or most creative. This could have people be more creative and would certainly give them the confidence boost in people liking their creation. I think this is an excellent idea as I sometimes help local robotics programs, and they always love fun competitions. 
    flordMattPetersen
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    Be sure to state in your rules whether or not motorized vehicles are allowed. The pull-back motor in #8647 would certainly provide an unfair advantage over non-powered rivals, and if you don't explicitly rule it out somebody will show up with one. Or maybe that's only in Connecticut...
    Thanks!! 
    I totally forgot about that. 
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    nkx1 said:

    I'm not sure where you live in FL (higher/middle/lower income area, etc.), but obviously not all kids are fortunate enough to have a ton of Lego to be able to build a car from scratch and participate. Therefore, it may be appropriate to allow a kid with any Lego car to participate, whether the car is scratch-built or whether it's a $4 car set built per instructions.


    If the goal is to have fun and to maximize participation (i.e. maximize the amount of cash raised), then it would seem that the most business-savvy thing to do would be to allow any kid with any Lego (or any block brand) car to participate. Coincidentally, this seems to be the most inclusive and kind-hearted option as well.

    I have three tubs of LEGO in my science lab. I am opening it up to any kid who needs access (they just have to build the car after school and keep it in the lab till race day so the bricks don't disappear). 

    Part of the fun is suppsoed to be engineering a car of your own that you think will best manage the track.
    thats kind of why I was trying to distance the kids from a store bought car. I wanted them to use their skills learned in science to build something they think would win (more weight in front? Equal distribution of weight? More tires=faster car? That sort of thing).

    I do appreciate the input and it's something I will need to consider. 

  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    CCC said:
    You might also want a prize for furthest distance travelled rather than just fastest.
    That neve occurred to me! 
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    Great idea! Not sure if this would make sense, but you could do coolest design or most creative. This could have people be more creative and would certainly give them the confidence boost in people liking their creation. I think this is an excellent idea as I sometimes help local robotics programs, and they always love fun competitions. 
    Thanks! Yeah I think most creative and coolest design are great categories to use as well. 

  • Jackad7Jackad7 Wisconsin Member Posts: 370
    Dang, your rules are no fun. I would send my kid with my back up tumbler I have sitting around and snowplow everyone else's cars. >:)

    Jus kidding about the no fun part I would have killed for a teacher like you in gradeschool.
    MattPetersen
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    Jackad7 said:
    Dang, your rules are no fun. I would send my kid with my back up tumbler I have sitting around and snowplow everyone else's cars. >:)

    Jus kidding about the no fun part I would have killed for a teacher like you in gradeschool.
    I know your joking ;)

    but its a ts a great example to use on why I wanted to regulate size and build requirements.

    thanks for the compliment.
    I try real hard to make science fun and relevant to the students. My job is to hook them while they're young.
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    So far, these are the awards decided upon (by grade level).

    Fastest Car
    Longest Distance Traveled
    Most Creative
    Most Colorful
    Best Designed

    any other suggestions? 

  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 457
    I had a class once where we were challenged with crossing a distance as fast as possible and coming to a stop after a certain distance but as close to that distance as possible. I know this is a more complex task, but it could be an interesting twist for the upper grades if you think they can handle it. (and being Lego you could always remove the braking system for a sheer speed shoot out race too) other than that I think you've got the important categories covered.

    (side note: the last 3 are rather subjective, how do you plan to approach those? a voting system? or just your own opinion of the builds?)
    MattPetersen
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 1,291
    Here are the Wacky Racers rules we use at Bricks by the Bay. Maybe a little of this will help.
    https://www.bricksbythebay.com/convention/games-and-contests/wacky-racers/
    MattPetersen
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 Washington, USAMember Posts: 232
    I'm sure you won't be trying to fill additional time, but you could even do a "loser bracket" and have them race their cars backwards and then have the "Backwards Best" award or something along those lines?

    Maybe a stretch...
    MattPetersencatwrangler
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    I'm sure you won't be trying to fill additional time, but you could even do a "loser bracket" and have them race their cars backwards and then have the "Backwards Best" award or something along those lines?

    Maybe a stretch...
    That's actually a good idea.
    im coming up with activities to keep the "losing cars" owners there and entertained. This could help!! 
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 214
    I had a class once where we were challenged with crossing a distance as fast as possible and coming to a stop after a certain distance but as close to that distance as possible. I know this is a more complex task, but it could be an interesting twist for the upper grades if you think they can handle it. (and being Lego you could always remove the braking system for a sheer speed shoot out race too) other than that I think you've got the important categories covered.

    (side note: the last 3 are rather subjective, how do you plan to approach those? a voting system? or just your own opinion of the builds?)
    OK, so here's what I am planning on doing.
    For those last three categories, I'm thinking of handing out different color tickets (Red Blue Yellow) and give each person who attends one of each of these tickets. They can place their ticket in a cup in front of each car while it's waiting to race.
    Cars with most red will win creative.
    Cars with most blue will win best engineered.
    Cars with most yellow will win design.

    I am thinking of using judges as tie breakers. 
    catwrangler
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