The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

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Kinetics Club: Do they have enough time?

“I was pedaling about as [fast] as I could, and one of my pedals just snapped off,”

This year’s Kinetic Grand Championship will be gaining some valuable players. A small but determined group of Arcata High School students who call themselves “Team Pedal Snappers” are meeting at least once a week to plan and craft a kinetic sculpture before the race in the spring.

The Kinetic Grand Championship is a three-day race put on every year in Humboldt County, where teams of people get together and create an artful machine made for traveling across the bay, roads, beaches, and hills. There are pilots to these machines which are normally bike-related, who drive the creation to the finish line.

The name “Team Pedal Snappers” was born from an experience one of the members, senior Lachlan Watts-Tobin, had last year during the race.

“I was pedaling about as [fast] as I could, and one of my pedals just snapped off,” Watts-Tobin said, “We were able to continue going with only three people pedaling. I was [pedaling with] one hand.”

Junior Ava Tempelaere and Watts-Tobin are the facilitators of the club and have been very busy.

“It is a bigger time commitment than the National Honor Society or Rotary, it is hands down the hardest club on campus,” Watts-Tobin said.

They’ve been doing a lot of the planning and organizing, putting lots of their personal time into the project.

“I think there hasn’t been a day for a couple of weeks now where we haven’t done something kinetics-related,” Tempelaere said.

The club is currently working on fundraising, and even starting to build. According to Tempelaere, the club has “a lot of really, really dedicated passionate people who are showing up like twice a week.”

“Our wonderful mechanic’s team is working on the design,” Tempelaere said, “[but our] general consensus is that if we have another mechanic, we will never get anything done.”

Tempelaere expressed how the team has a lot of people who are willing to work on the more mechanical aspects of the project, but not as many people to do the design.

“We are looking for artists,” she said.

Despite the hours that the team has been putting into their sculpture, adults who have done the race before are telling them that they may not have enough time to finish it.

“When we’ve told adults who are in the kinetics world, ‘oh yeah we’re building a sculpture for this year’s race,’ they’re like, ‘oh you should have started two years ago,’” Tempelaere said.

If anything, this news seems to be motivating the club more than deterring them from their goal. A steady group of around 10 people are meeting in the auto shop classroom every Monday at lunch. Anyone who wants to join is welcome.

“We’re hoping to create an opportunity as a team for highschoolers by highschoolers.” Watts-Tobin said.

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