Monday, October 26, 2015

Junk Yard Wars at MHHS Experiential Learning Week

Students from Matthew Halton High School (MHHS) took part in Experiential Learning Week (ELW) from Monday, October 19 - 23. The students took a single immersive class in a option of their choice that they were then enrolled in for the duration of the week.

Toni Lucas - What do kitchen chairs, a wheelbarrow, bicycle handle bars, and an chunk of old wire fencing have in common?  They were all used as parts for this years ELW Junkyard War Soapbox Derby.  Mechanics Teacher Travis Epp took the students to a scrap yard in Fort MacLeod to find parts for their DIY projects. A total of 23 students were split into 8 teams to make non-motorized gravity driven vehicles which had to include steering and brakes.  The students had to envision, design, assemble, weld and create their vehicles.  Then they had to ride them past the finish line.

Lloyd Lybbert's run began well but ended in a wreck
 On the last day of ELW the kids and carts took to Police Avenue in downtown Pincher Creek to race their creations.  The street was cordoned off, with safety precautions in place.  Epp said before the race started, "It think it is going to come down to survival of the fittest, who can hold up the longest, which welds hold up the best."  All racers started halfway up the hill and at the bottom past the finish line there was a cordon of hay bales.  There were a couple of spills, a few mechanical failures, but everyone had a good time and you could see the glow of accomplishment from these students.  Many of the other classes had students come out to watch the fun.  Also watching were Pincher Creek Emergency Services, just in case there assistance would be required.

The machines that made it through the first few runs got to go to the top of the hill for a run.  Cade Ames recorded his journey for posterity, and was kind enough to share his trip down the hill (see above video).  He was not the only ones recording the event.  Pincher Creek Bylaw officers came and recorded the speed of some of the runs.  Epp said the team with the fastest time was AB Thunderstruck, AKA Jack Mitchell, Merrick Stauffer and Travis Dyer, who were clocked at 42 kilometres per hour. These three had the drive to continue to soup up their buggy even after the race was done, fixing some welds that did not hold.  You were right about the welds, Mr. Epp!

Thunderstruck's go-cart takes the hill

Team Thunderstruck - Merrick Stauffer, Travis Dyer, Jack Mitchell

Fall 2015 ELW programs and activities included:  Sewing, Ultimate Frisbee, Butcher, Edible Gifts, Film Study, Animal Care, Drama, Basketball/ Volleyball, Hockey, Junk Yard Wars, Outdoor Survival, Knife Forging, Painting/ Drawing, and Photography.

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