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Kinetics Club

A youth kinetics team full of high school engineers and artists working to create a unique machine for the Championship and to become a nonprofit organization
Kinetics Club

195 days remain until Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start of the three-day marathon spanning over 40 miles of Humboldt County for the local Kinetic Grand Championship. And the Kinetics Club of Arcata High, the Pedal Snappers, are well on their way to finishing their sculpture in time for the race.

They are a youth kinetics team full of high school engineers and artists working to create a unique machine for the Championship and to become a nonprofit organization by the end of November.

Last year, they crossed the finish line second, but since they weren’t an ACE sculpture, they got a huge time penalty. 

“Our projected deadline for when the machine is supposed to be finished is March 15th… it’s very doable. It’s kind of just a matter of people putting their head down and working,” a member of the mechanics team in the club, Alina Smith said.

They have made around $3,000 out of their $10,000 goal to fund their project so far from bake sales, donations, mailing campaigns, and holding events like the masquerade ball held in October. 

“We had a donated machine last year, which made it a lot easier on us, but this year we have to build a machine from scratch, so it’s been a challenge,” vice president of the Kinetics Club, Junior Ava Tempelaere said.

Last summer, they started their meetings by working on designs, and sketches, but they didn’t get their hands on the materials to build the sculpture until October. They haven’t received or ordered all of their materials yet, but they started assembling the wheels, forming the formal draft of the frame, and making the drive train that makes the wheels move.

“We have a really solid design, and we’re taking some of the best aspects from other machines and culminating those into our own sculpture,” the president of the Kinetics Club, Lockland Watts-Tobin said.

They have had a couple of issues as they are high schoolers who don’t have a lot of experience. From raising money to people doubting them, it can be very detrimental to their motivation, but they aren’t giving up anytime soon and they’re staying positive with their ultimate goal.

“I’m personally learning a software that is new to me called Solid Works where you can build a model and like test things before you actually make them,” Smith said. “I’ve always been interested in engineering and stuff like that and it just sounded like a really fun challenge on something that I hadn’t really done before and you know… for the glory.”

The club’s website,, has information on how you can support them and learn more about the team. Sun Valley Farms very kindly donated space to keep their machine, when it gets too big for Arcata High’s auto shop.

“If you want an easy way to help support our team, we’ll be doing restaurant partnerships meaning that if you go to the restaurant on that day a portion of the profit will be given to our team,” Watts-Tobin said.

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