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Van Antwerp students crack up

In hand-made wooden cars, soft foam cushions, and rubber band seats; sixth grade students at Van Antwerp Middle School created car crashes for the sake of education.

Students in Zachary Carrico and Tom Blechinger's Technology classes created their own stock cars to protect egg passengers, teaching students about physics, drafting, and how to use power tools to build their own creations.

"The kids have been doing great," said Carrico. "We've had pretty high numbers as we go through our six levels of testing."

After creating schematics for their vehicles, students are given blocks of wood and transfer their ideas from paper to materials while building the main body of their cars and the cockpit where their egg pilot will sit surrounded by foam and other safety precautions. The overall test involves a ramp, a ladder and a concrete block. Cars are driven down the ramp towards the concrete block and those that survive each level are brought to the next step of the ladder as the ramp incrementally moves up.

Those who make it to the sixth level without breaking are entered into the "Bowl of Honor," where they are broken to see if the insides were damaged while the outsides remained intact.

"Its very hard work and a struggle for some to get to the end but its well worth it," said Carrico.

Each student sent their car down the track, with students cheering their compatriots on. While some cars were able to protect their egg passengers, others were happy to see their cars pass the test.

"It was a miracle," said Evan Desso, who used foam and rubber bands to protect his cargo.

Some cars were flipped, smashed and thrown from the track, sending eggs crashing from their cup cockpits. Ben Cazer watched during his second period class as his egg did not make the cut.

"My egg made a mean scrambled egg," he said.""

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