On right course - innovative tub cleans up awards

Taking a bath has never been so exciting.

The difference with this tub is, you are likely to come out dirtier than when you went in.

Five Otago Polytechnic level 2 automotive mechanical engineering students have built a bath tub on wheels, with a 200cc rotary hoe engine that can push it to speeds of more than 50kmh.

It comes complete with a shower curtain (to contain mud-spatter), a bottle of shampoo (purely for show) and even some rubber ducks (for the cute-factor).

Otago Polytechnic level 2 automotive mechanical engineering students (from left) Stoney Huntley, Mikayley Bennett and Arizona Greig take their award-winning bath kart for a spin. Absent: Hayley Buchanan and Cleveland Kaiwai. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Otago Polytechnic level 2 automotive mechanical engineering students (from left) Stoney Huntley, Mikayley Bennett and Arizona Greig take their award-winning bath kart for a spin. Absent: Hayley Buchanan and Cleveland Kaiwai. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Wisely, team member Arizona Greig said the plug had been removed because the kart did not handle well when it was full of water.

''We thrash it around a bit. It wipes out a lot.

''It's definitely a lot of fun.''

The kart was built by Arizona (17), Stoney Huntley (17), Mikayley Bennett (19), Hayley Buchanan (27) and Cleveland Kaiwai (17), and took about 10 weeks to complete.

The kart was recently entered in the Otago Southland Grass Karts Championship in Gore, where it won the people's choice award, the best construction award, the best appearance award and first place overall.

Polytechnic engineering trades lecturer Stuart Hewson said the results were outstanding.

''We haven't had this much success before.

''We're pretty stoked. We're really proud of them.

''They've really focused on the quality and the finish, and it stood out above and beyond the other students at the championship.''

While the students were delighted with the results, they said the biggest reward came from the course itself because it had given them another path of education other than school.

Mr Hewson said they were among a group of students who were essentially, ''early school-leavers''.

''This is a really good course that gives them six hours of automotive training and 18 hours of engineering training each week.

''So they do welding, fabricating, machining and every aspect of automotive.

''It's like a big science lab for them - it gives them an opportunity to try different things out.''

He said it was keeping them more engaged in education than perhaps they would have been if they were still at school.

''They're a lot more confident, a lot more relaxed about learning and a lot more engaged.

''It's working really well for them and they've got a career path going forward.''

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