READY TO RACE: Dalby State High School students will take to the track on Friday for the Formula Student race day.
READY TO RACE: Dalby State High School students will take to the track on Friday for the Formula Student race day.

Dalby students hit the racetrack in self-made cars

MONTHS of hard work and dedication has paid off for Dalby State High School students today as they jump behind the wheel of race cars built from scratch.

About 50 students from the Trade Futures and Agricultural Futures programs have dedicated one day each week to building four race cars from scratch while working towards their certificate two in engineering pathways.

Today, each student will get a go behind the wheel at Lakeside Park where they will take on other students in the Formula Student program in a six-hour race.

Lead teacher Stuart Burrows said the race was a test of consistency rather than speed and came as a reward for completing the course.

“It’s not looking for the fastest lap or who does the most laps, it’s the team that can be the most consistent in their lap times and still running at the end,” Mr Burrows said.

“It’s invaluable they get to go out and appreciate the cars, I think a lot of them have a real sense of pride with what they’ve achieved.”

In its third year at DSHS this year, the Formula Student program is based in a simulated workplace where students would have to clock in each day and complete tasks delivered via job card.

Mr Burrows said the program offers invaluable experience for students heading out into the industry.

“It just gives them that insight into what the real world is like,” he said.

“They’re stepping out with a better understanding of what’s required when you go to work.”

Year 11 student Natasha Patterson is one of the few girls in the program and said she enjoyed the practical approach to learning.

“I really recommend this program, you learn a lot, you learn to work in teams, a lot of life skills are in this, not only that but you have a lot of fun too,” she said.

Natasha said her favourite part was seeing the cars all come together at the end seeing what they had been working towards.

“I feel really satisfied and I’m really excited for race day,” she said.

Year 11 student Dan Scott participated in the program while also completing a school-based apprenticeship as a small motor vehicle mechanic.

“Being able to take my knowledge that I gained from work and bring it here and vice versa has been really fun,” he said.

“Being able to work on something a bit smaller was really good it gave me the opportunity to branch out from what I learn and take it to work and put it to use.”

Dan said he has already seen the benefits in his working life, knowing his way around a car a little better after completing the program.

“Manufacturing the chassis has helped at work ten-fold, even just when you need to chance out lights it just gives you better knowledge of what’s around the car,” he said.

Local businesses showed their support for the program this year including White Industries and Graeme Winter Smash Repairs.

Craig White from White Industries said they have been long-time supporters of the Trade Futures program.

“We see a bright future in the young kids of the district,” he said.

“This is a breeding ground for the manufacturing industry,”

David Winter from Graeme Winter Smash Repairs agreed and said it was important to support the next generation of industry leaders locally.

“This is our future … if we don’t support these guys, these guys are going to leave town,” he said.

“I think this program opens a lot of doors, it shows them life stuff they can do and actually apply it.”

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