by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, August 2014) Forty-one students celebrated the completion of the Take it to the Max! Summer Camp at Max Hayes High School, 4600 Detroit Avenue on June 26, 2014. The three-week camp for eighth grade graduates entering the ninth grade, focused on teaching students skills in communications, computer aided design, machining, nutrition and staying healthy. The graduation ceremony featured the Pinewood Derby Championship, a race of pinewood cars the students created during the summer session.
Cheryl Jackson, a Workforce Development Coordinator for the summer camp and an employee of WIRE-Net, a network of manufacturing companies that partners with Max Hayes, says of the 41 students that completed the summer camp, twenty-eight plan to attend Max Hayes High School in the fall. The students will be part of the class of 2018 and will be graduating from the new Max Hayes High School at W. 65th and Walworth. Some of those students have already earned a half credit toward High School graduation by completing all their assignments this summer and showing up each day on time for the Take it to the Max! Summer Camp.
José Estremera, WIRE-Net’s Youth Program Coordinator, says the Take it to the Max! Summer Camp is designed to help students entering the ninth grade at Max Hayes to become “familiar with what high school life is going to be like.” He says in the beginning of the camp students are given a block of wood, four tires, and some nails, and then asked to create a car. Students participating in the program were able to use the raw materials to design and build their own cars using three-dimensional imaging software, math skills, the machine shop, and other tools and resources available at Max Hayes High School, explained Estremera.
At the culmination of the three-week program, students raced the vehicles they created and competed in a design competition. The racing cars were judged on the distance they covered and for speed. In the design competition cars were judged by the cut of the car, its look and shape, aerodynamics and the painting and decals.
The students winning the distance competition in the Pinewood Derby Championship were: Shaqwon Badley, First Place; Jamie Ephraim, Second Place; and Stone Robinson, Third Place.
The students having the fastest cars were: Ricky Vinson III, First Place; Raymond Brown Jr.; Second Place; and Tye Zohn Pennyman, Third Place.
The winners of the design competition were: Valery Kasole, First Place; Nyla Brown, 2nd Place and Wilson Ruiz, 3rd Place.