Jarred Meeks I Times Sentinel RACE DAY: Students at Boone Prairie School prepare to race their edible cars.
Children at a Whitestown private school gathered around a wood ramp almost as tall as they are on May 3 to compete at the school’s inaugural edible car competition.
The fifth- and sixth-graders at Boone Prairie School, which opened this year for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, were tasked with making a car completely out of food. The project encouraged them to use critical thinking and science, technology, engineering and math skills, Rachael Cotteleer, the school’s fifth- and sixth-grade teacher said.
Students were divided into three teams and gave presentations on their projects. The remaining younger children sat along the runway for the cars.
The teams were given a week to plan construction of their car, but they only had the morning to assemble the car, troubleshoot and adjust for the race at 1 p.m.
The first group, the BJ Flaming Bananas, used Slim Jim Meat Sticks for axles and Babybel Cheese rounds for wheels. For the car’s body, the team, composed of Brianne Reinhardt and John Bickel, used a banana. The two said their edible car represented 430 calories, the fewest of the three cars.
After a thoughtful presentation and a self-made video of bananas dancing to the It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time song to promote their car, Reinhardt and Bickel loaded their car at the peak of the ramp. The banana car rushed down and lost a rear wheel, stopping just a foot or so past the ramp.
The second team, the Fast Fins, used Twix pretzel rods, round Keebler cookies and fondant. After presenting their final product and showing their video on an iPad, Noah Stefani and Chloe Sears released their car, which crawled down the ramp. It stopped half on, half off the ramp.
Lastly, the Funny Fatsos, Eva Stefani, Logan Sumner and Rachel Nolf, created a team around a fictional character named Earl. A banana body, Keebler cookie wheels and Twix axles with marshmallows on the outside of the wheels completed their car.
The best presentation winner was to be voted on, and the team said one vote for them was a vote to save Earl’s life. He, as they created him, was already overweight, and they said their car was so unhealthy that he couldn’t be allowed to eat it and that students should vote for their presentation, so the car could be preserved, not eaten. The presentation earned the team the best presentation title.
The Funny Fatsos’ car rolled to within less than an inch of the BJ Flaming Bananas’ car, much to the delight of the children, which left BJ Flaming Bananas as the fastest car and the car that went the farthest.
The school focuses on a mixture of classical education and hands-on learning, Shawna Reinhardt, co-founder of the school said. They do this by events like the edible car race.
The race was inspired by the Indianapolis 500, and school officials hope to continue it.
Jarred Meeks writes for the Zionsville Times Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jarredsmeeks.