All Programs
DIY Derby
Grades: 5 - 8

Ready. Set. Go. Racers, gear up for a thrilling downhill adventure! Campers will learn carpentry and woodworking skills as they each build their own derby car racer and participate in a fast paced race for DIY Derby glory! Campers will explore basic physics concepts to figure out how to create their cars to be the fastest in a downhill race. Campers will then use that knowledge to draw out the design and carve their racer out of wood using saws, dremels and wood rasps. As a class, campers will then plan out and build their very own race track using cardboard, scrap wood and other materials. At the end of the week campers will race their vehicles against one another, collect data about their cars and redesign them to be even faster! Take your derby racing skills to the next level and turn downhill model racing on its head in DIY Derby!

21st Century & SEL Skill Focus: Collaboration, Creativity, Problem Solving, Communication, Responsibility, Empathy, Initiative.  Learn more about other skills we build through The EDMO Method™.

Fun Fact. In 2018, there was a 30% increase in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills developed for those who attended two weeks of Camp EDMO™ and a 39% increase for returning EDMO™ families over new families!

Friday afternoons, parents are welcome to stop by after camp to see what campers created. Campers may take their derby car home at the end of the camp week. Should a camper want to keep a portion of the track, they will need to pick their track component up after 5PM on Friday or the following Monday (unless it is the last week of camp), to allow for our need to keep the track “intact” while parents may be visiting.

Sample Projects

Build your Racer

Build your Racer

Campers will design and build their own derby racer. After being given the option of using a provided template or designing their own car, campers will carve their racer out of a block of wood, attach a wheel and axle base, paint it, and add decals. They will then test their racers to ensure the construction of their vehicle is complete.

Campers will learn the core skills of working with and designing something from a block of wood. They’ll see how to use tools such as saws, dremels, wood rasps, and sandpaper to carve and prep their cars for decoration. They’ll also find out how to safely use these tools, why carpenters and woodworkers choose them, and how to use their tools in other woodworking applications.

Create the Track

Create the Track

As a class, campers will design and construct their DIY Derby track. Using wood and cardboard, campers will team up to build a sloped ramp with lane guides to facilitate the ultimate derby showdown at the end of the week!

Campers will learn how to design and build a scaled carpentry project in a collaborative setting. Working together as a class, campers will learn how engineering teams use design processes to brainstorm, sketch, build, and test out an idea.

DIY Derby Final Race!

DIY Derby Final Race!

After campers finish construction of their DIY Derby racer and their track, each camper will have a chance to test out their creation in our end of the week derby race! Campers will test their racer, measure its speed and distance traveled and then have a chance to redesign their car. Campers will participate in multiple races to see how their modifications can impact the speed and distance of their derby cars.

Campers will learn how to collect and analyze data about their car, how to redesign their vehicle to be faster and how to complete multiple tests to show progress in their designs. Campers will learn how tests allow for engineers to understand the modifications needed to improve on a design and how multiple iterations of a design can offer insight into how to solve problems and challenges.

Sample Schedule

  • A Day in the Life...

Some kids thrive on routines and harmony. Others not so much. Good news! We’ve found the secret recipe that works for all EDMO campers!

Day/Time Click Each Activity Below to Learn More
8:00-9:00AM AM Program

During our EDMO Pro AM Program, campers will have time in the “Hang Time” room with access to music, games, computers, and maker supplies.  The AM Program allows campers time to engage and wake up for the day.

8:50-9:00AM Drop-Off

Be greeted by name or a high five by a professional staff member…dressed in a mermaid costume or a Viking hat. In a hurry? Pull up and we’ll open the door for you. In no rush? Park your car, come right in and shake your counselor’s fin.

9:00-9:30AM Opening Huddle

Your morning Huddle will get your gears spinning and your thoughts pumping.  Get to know your fellow campers and jump start the day with games, high fives and jokes.

9:30-10:30AM Lab 1

During this enrichment lab time, campers really get into the weekly theme and curriculum. Campers delve into the weekly subject, learn new skills and design and create weekly projects.

10:30-10:45AM Snack

Active minds lead to hungry bellies! Don’t forget to pack a healthy snack for your camper every morning…with no nuts of course! Remember: If you ordered a delicious lunch you automatically receive a healthy morning snack!

10:45-11:15AM Real Time

Each day EDMO Pro campers will have 20-30 minutes of team and leadership building.

11:15AM-12:15PM Lab 2

During this enrichment lab time, campers really get into the weekly theme and curriculum. Campers delve into the weekly subject, learn new skills and design and create weekly projects.

12:15-12:45PM Lunch

Lunch available at your location?  It’s a snap to add a delicious lunch each day! Just click/check the lunch box on your enrollment form and a quality lunch will be delivered to camp daily. Packing you own lunch? Please just do not bring any products that contain: cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, pine nuts, walnuts or heaven forbid, the “Mother of All Nut Allergies”—the peanut.

12:45-1:20PM Hang Time

Each day EDMO Pro campers will have 20-30 minutes of free choice time. EDMO Pro campers can spend time outside playing games and will also be able to spend time in the “Hang Time” room with access to music, games, computers, and maker supplies.  

1:20-2:40PM Lab 3

During this enrichment lab time, campers really get into the weekly theme and curriculum. Campers delve into the weekly subject, learn new skills and design and create weekly projects.

2:40-3:00PM Closing Huddle

Closing Huddle is your daily wrap up!  This is the part of the day when you can really let your campy side out with songs, skits and improv! Make sure you save all of your projects before you’re rolling on the floor laughing! #roll

3:00-3:15PM Pick-Up

Have your camper check themselves out and/or pull up or walk up, whichever you fancy. Either way we’ll make a point to let you know something special about your child’s day. Look out for our daily email from the Camp Director detailing the activities at your camp location, along with a reminder to visit EDMO At Home to see what to look forward to tomorrow and suggested activities, books, websites, museum exhibitions, and more ways to keep the curiosity going.

3:15-6:00PM PM Extended Day, PM Snack & Free Play

Need a little more time in your day? Our PM Extended Day Program is a great option. While you’re away, campers can enjoy a little more free time with each other and staff. They’ll also have the option to spend time in the “Hang Time” room with access to music, games, computers, and maker supplies. PM Extended Day goes from 3 PM – 6 PM but parents can pick up whenever works for them…but no later than 6 PM please! Our staff needs to get home too.

““Each year my daughter’s level of self-confidence and self-esteem is strengthened as a result of Camp EDMO. All of the staff at Camp EDMO are phenomenal!”
– Yaffa A., 6th Grade SF-Noe Valley/Castro Parent