LAURENS - Students in one Laurens-Marathon Community School class will get the chance to show off their skills later this month when they participate in a race with their custom-built cars.
The industrial technology students in Ken Kunickis' class will race 10 cars in Laurens on May 28.
The idea of students creating their own cars and racing them is one that Kunickis had been thinking about.
-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Hailey Runneberg, a Laurens-Marathon High School junior, helps hold down a part of a table in her industrial technology class taught by Ken Kunickis. Students in Kunickis’ class will participate in a race on May 28 which will feature derby cars that were built by students.
"I was trying to come up with an idea for a project that would involve many different classes," he said. "My wife is the one that was looking around on the Internet and she suggested the race. I thought it was a great idea."
After speaking with the administration, Kunickis said he was able to get money budgeted to help pay for the materials that were needed.
Other students raised money and did extracurricular work, which Kunickis said "came together" to get the race organized.
All the cars are student-made, with some assistance from a local engineering company.
"They did a little bit of help on the cars," he said. "It was primarily with front ends and materials to be fabricated."
The cars are modeled after Soap Box Derby racers.
"They have a plywood platform that is one-and-a-half-inches thick and the running gear is a steel tube," Kunickis said.
The race will be held on the northwest side of town.
"It'll be on Brush Lake Road a quarter mile north of C15," Kunickis said. "The county has said that they will block off the road and we'll have both the police out there and all the safety that we need."
His students are excited about the race.
"They love the idea," he said. "They just wish that we would be competing with other schools."
Though other schools were contacted, Kunickis said they would need at least a year to set aside time in their curriculum.
"I would love to say that the winner will be given a prize, but because no other schools are involved it'll just be bragging rights," Kunickis said. "But it's going to be a fun day."