October 18th, 2013

National Secondary Schools Mini Moto Grand Prix

More than 200 minibikes and sidecars from 20 schools descended on Feilding’s Manfeild Raceway this month for the 2013 Mini Moto Grand Prix – and despite heavy rain and strong winds the racers’ eagerness to get out on the track couldn’t be dampened.

The annual event is the culmination of senior secondary students’ technology and engineering project work which they complete with the support of learning resources from Tools4Work – a programme proudly sponsored by Blackwoods Protector. Tools4Work’s innovative approach to learning gives students a hands-on taste of the benefits of a career in mechanical engineering and acts as a stepping stone to transition students into apprenticeships when they leave school.

Building the bikes – both 50 and 70cc – is no small feat. Students had to add to the kit sets they purchased in Term 1 their own engine, suspension, steering and bodywork – giving them the opportunity to learn MIG welding, lathe turning and drill press processes.

For some though, affording the kit sets was a struggle. One student from a single parent home worked as a laborer, digging holes for fencing, in his weekends until he had enough money – demonstrating the programme’s strong appeal with students. The event was founded by Feilding High School in 1997, and has since grown in popularity.

“When I first started out as a teacher here there were 12 engineering students. Now I have over 100,” says Roger Emmerson, Head of Engineering at Feilding High School and a key event organiser. After the two days of racing a number of prizes donated by local sponsors were given to the highest point winners for each of the different weight class and engine size categories, including two JBS spanner sets from Blackwoods Protector. For more photos view our Facebook album here.