Children inspired to test-drive designs during inaugural Burnie Derby

Young people from across the North-West Coast are being invited to exercise their imagination and innovation ahead of an exciting, inaugural racing event.

Burnie Derby will be revving up at this year’s MakerX Burnie festival, which is taking place on Sunday, 18 August, as part of National Science Week.

Inspired by the US concept Nerdy Derby, the competition exposes children to the disciplines of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) by encouraging them to design and build their own model race car.

Their resulting creations will have to navigate an elevated 10 metre-long wooden racetrack which will be assembled at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre.

In the lead-up to the competition, Burnie Library is hosting DIY workstations where the community can design and build their own unique set of wheels.

MakerX coordinator Clarissa Forster, from the University of Tasmania, said Burnie Derby will be a fantastic learning exercise for the entire community.

“Burnie Derby is one of the highlights of our inaugural MakerX program,” Ms Forster said.

“The competition is a chance for children and their families to explore the art of making as they tinker freely, build their design, have fun and learn along the way.

“Already the initiative has been a wonderful demonstration of the rich community partnerships we have here in the North-West, with local firms Fairbrother and Stubbs Construction designing and building the epic racetrack.

“Children are invited to be as creative and innovative as they like. We want to inspire them to give power to their imaginations and realise there are no limits to their design and the materials they use.

“Importantly, the competition is also about celebrating the successes and failures which are all part of the learning journey.”

A number of prizes will be awarded on the day, including the Most Creative, Slowest, Most Spectacular Fall, Best Fruity Creation and Best Recycled Vehicle.

DIY workstations will be running at Burnie Library in the lead up to race day.

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