Kennedy Krieger High School Students Gear Up for Kinetic Sculpture Race

April 17, 2003
5th annual event sponsored by the American Visionary Art Museum unleashes the creativity in students

Baltimore, MD - In the halls of the Kennedy Krieger High School Career and Technology Center, many students chat about plans for Spring Break or the latest pop star. However, the first thing on the minds of most students in the Technology Education class is the April 26 Kinetic Sculpture Race. The students are busy putting the finishing touches on their made-from-scratch Bulldog vehicle entrant.

More than 40 land and seaworthy vehicles will be raced around the downtown area, but none as ferocious as the Bulldog, the Kennedy Krieger High School mascot, complete with moving legs and wagging tongue, chasing after a ball.

Eleven 9th-grade boys created the bulldog from a peddle-powered cart and K'NEX building sets. The students crafted a head and tail out of burlap and glue, eyes out of rubber balls and a tongue out of red, paisley fabric. Coupled with a solid idea and wonderful resources, the students problem-solved how to make the legs move, what materials to use and who to navigate the 15-mile course on the vehicle.

"All through the year, we learn large concepts such as science, math and physics, and in the second semester we create projects that incorporate all of these concepts, as well as teamwork and dedication to seeing a project to completion," explains technology teacher, Frank Lee.

The students have been working on gathering materials, devising a blueprint and troubleshooting for almost 2 months. Along with Information Systems teachers, some students are now using software to design a logo for a T-shirt for all participants to wear the day of the race. Many of the eleven students, along with their families, will be walking next to the vehicle as part of the "pit crew" while Kennedy Krieger High School staff peddle the vehicle.

At the Kennedy Krieger High School, nearly 150 students with serious, often multiple, learning, emotional, neurological and/or developmental disabilities participate in a unique instructional program that allows them to learn about all aspects of an industry, rather than one specific job. With this exposure to career clusters,' students can develop the skills related to a specific area of interest in that particular industry, as well as the skills necessary for economic independence. The students can choose from one of the following career clusters: Information Technology, Construction Trades, Retail and Consumer Services and Hospitality and Tourism.

Kennedy Krieger Institute is dedicated to helping children and adolescents with disabilities resulting from disorders of the brain achieve their potential and participate as fully as possible in family, community and school life.

Media Contact Inquiries:

Allison Loritz
443.923.7330 or 410.336.0101