Springsure State School in Queensland isn’t just holding races, it’s redefining education through its Pedal Prix Program.
The 2023 Championship QLD Pedal Prix Super Series showcased the result of years of effort by the school’s staff and students. Science, engineering and technology teacher Peter Spencer was the driver behind the initiative, which was five years in the making.
Peter said the project began by introducing welding into the curriculum for Year 9 and Year 10 students.
“We seek to give the students lifelong skills through hands on learning. Students can now repair pedal-powered vehicles, construct trailers, and even craft push carts, providing them with practical skills that extend beyond the classroom,” he said.
While the program integrates practical elements like welding and engineering, its reach is much broader. It ties into various subjects including science, where students study heat, temperature, tire wear and forces. In math classes, students use real data from races to learn statistical concepts like mean, median, and mode.
The program’s authentic approach to education aligns with Peter’s ‘Relate to Create to Donate’ teaching method, where students relate to problems, create solutions and donate the generated data.
Peter explained how the next step of the program was to take it out to the community.
“During the recent championship, parents and locals got an up-close view of the program and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback. Industry experts, including those from Team 18 V8 Supercars and Fuchs Lubricants also visited the school. They came up, had a look, and were impressed by the programs authentic and professional approach.”
What sets the Pedal Prix Program apart is its impact on personal growth and team strategy. Students don’t just aim to win races, they strategise to extend their race time, a feat that requires physical and mental endurance.
“They really love it, sometimes they just stay out on the track testing their limits and working as a team to achieve best times,” said Peter.
Younger students also benefit through their involvement in push-cart races and there are plans to integrate elements like circuits and sound from science classes into these push carts.
The program’s impact is continually growing. Data from Springsure’s program will soon be shared with other schools across the state, expanding its benefits beyond local boundaries.
With such initiatives, Springsure State School is pioneering an educational model that promises not just academic enrichment but also lifelong skills and community engagement. The Pedal Prix Program doesn’t just make education engaging – it turns the classroom into a racetrack where knowledge, practicality, and community converge.
“It’s curriculum outside the classroom, in a real-world context. That’s the whole idea of it. It gets them excited about schooling,” Peter concluded.
The program is supported by Glencore’s Rolleston Open Cut, Central Queensland Regional Council, Sojitz, and the Queensland Government.