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The 18 Youth Guarantee Scheme students have built three grass karts as part of an Otago Polytechnic course which teaches them engineering-based skills.
Split into three teams of six, the students have built and decorated their karts from the ground up and are set to test their handiwork at the Southern Annual Grass Kart Challenge in Twizel, this weekend.
The competition, which is open to secondary schools, polytechnics and institutes of technology in the South Island, is split in to three race categories: slalom, sprint and relay.
Participants must deliver a presentation about their karts to of a panel of judges.
Otago Polytechnic engineering trades lecturer Nick Moss said competing in the event was "incredibly worthwhile" for the students.
"It really does build their confidence ...
"These are people who don't like sitting in a classroom. They enjoy making things happen and learning on their feet," Mr Moss said.