A.W. Beattie Career Center students have won the Summit Racing Peddle Car Challenge at World of Wheels Pittsburgh for the fifth consecutive competition.
The career center is a six-time champion in the competition, having also won in 2015.
The most recent victory was at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. About 40 students collaborated for the competition.
“I’m so excited for our students who put so much time and effort into this competition,” Automotive Collision Technology teacher Pat Ciccone said. “They raise the bar higher every year. They’re amazing.”
Students completed an Evil Knievel-themed pedal car, and each had a unique role in its construction.
Avonworth junior Kohen Newcomer, a second-year student in the program, took the lead with body filler, painting, metal work and welding.
“It took a lot of work, and I was excited to do more than I did last year when I was still observing a lot,” Kohen said. “I learned from how upperclassmen before me perfected last year’s pedal car, and it meant a lot to me this year to have a bigger role and to work closely with Mr. Ciccone, Mr. Pelesky and the whole class.”
The project took about two months to complete.
North Hills senior JJ Jones, a third-year student, focused on the panels, siding and framework of the pedal car – a unique challenge.
“We started off with a simple set of bike handle bars and a couple tires,” JJ said. “We had to design a frame that could fit all of those components. There’s a lot of math that goes into (framework), and that’s really the most difficult part. Once you have the math figured out, everything else isn’t that bad. Overall, it was fun, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to step up. Everyone here is great.”
First-year students like North Allegheny senior Marshall Ryder and Pine-Richland junior Brandon Martin also had opportunities to contribute to the pedal car. Marshall worked with Mr. Ciccone to develop the front suspension, and Brandon focused on metal work and welding.
“I’m proud of myself and everyone else that worked on this,” Brandon said. “I definitely was a little nervous when we started out, because you want it to look great at the end. I was just glad to be able to win because of great team work.”
“This experience felt awesome,” Marshall added. “I work on race cars all up and down the east coast, even with NASCAR, and have been a part of winning teams. This is one more thing I’m really proud to add to my resume that I’ve been a part of for a winning team.”