It is a race against time for a group of Waitaki Boys’ High School pupils.
The school’s year 13 technology class is preparing two electric vehicles for the Evelocity Electric Vehicles Secondary Schools competition.
The class designed the vehicles from scratch in Term 3, and are now frantically putting the finishing touches on them for Sunday’s race in Christchurch.
It is the first time a school from Otago has entered the competition.
Waitaki Boys’ has two teams of year 13 pupils competing – Andre Chalmers, Jacob Bates and Clayton Takuria-Mita form one team, and the other is made up of Taz Selfe and Lukin Tayles.
The pupils will test the vehicles in three categories – a gymkhana test, which measures the handling and steering, an economy test and, most eagerly awaited by the pupils, a 60m drag race.
“We went fully for speed. We are in it for the drag race,” Andre (18) said.
Schools were given identical electric motors, but the rest of the design was completely up to the pupils, Waitaki Boys’ technology teacher Henry Jones said.
The boys enlisted the help of local businesses for bike parts and advice, but had completed most of the work themselves, Mr Jones said.
“It is one of the best things I have taught at school,” he said.
“It’s project-driven, and the assessments are just a by-product.
“It has been constant problem solving. They have had to put in quite a bit of extra work.”
The pupils were looking forward to seeing how other teams had designed their vehicles.
With time almost up, they would be making improvements right up until competition day, Jacob (18) said.
“Trial day is race day,” he said.
While they would be competing against several other schools, the most fierce rivalry would be between the Waitaki Boys’ teams.