Late last year we were brain storming new projects for our Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) cohort for 2015. The idea for this project has arose around the desire to apply metal fabrication and small engine skills to an exciting project that can count as a Personal Development Project for several VCAL students. We see this project as an excellent way to engage teenage boys and to capture some school spirit along the way.
We plan to involve parents and the P-12 school community with the mower preparation, hosting a race meetings and fund raising the venture.
We see lawn mower racing as a means of achieving some very specific educational outcomes along with offering some students the chance to compete in motorsport for the lowest cost possible. Given that the machines are governed by strict rules on performance and aesthetics and must remain very close to a standard lawn mower in appearance and performance, as a school we think this is a safe and exciting opportunity to offer our students.
Some aspects of the project as we see it: - Project to be completely student driven. - This project will be subject to VCAL paperwork requirements- no documentation means no racing. - Each student will have administration rights to our Lawn Mower Racing FaceBook page and will be expected to contribute as a blog/journal. - Students will strictly follow all Vic Mow’s safety precautions and guidelines around the machine and personal protective equipment (PPE). - Students will compete in Class C (maximum 200cc 4 Stroke engine) - Each competing student will be required to take out VicMow membership and race insurance. - Students will be responsible for seeking sponsorship (in kind) and a small fund raising event. - Students will be required to organise all school paperwork. - The whole VCAL team will host a round of the titles!
The students are thrilled that VicMow is a non-profit organisation run by enthusiasts who race for the love of competition and motorsport.
I am very excited about this project and I plan to commit some of my budget as part of the metal fabrication along with purchasing a new TIG welder and plasma cutter. I think the total cost of the project will be less than $2000 as we are calling in some favours and sourcing lots of parts through donations!
The first picture shows the Rover Rancher we collected as our basis for the machine. Donated by E.E. Day & Sons (Sthil Shop) in Wendouree. We picked this up on September 6, 2014 and the team got to work stripping it down (second pic).
Last week we collected the Ag Bike, pic three, that will be our power plant. The steel for the chassis arrived and we will begin construction tomorrow!