Zaryd Wilson

At the New Zealand MiniMoto GP in Feilding, engineering students are putting the bikes they've spent a year designing and building to the test.

"We get jigs for our frames and then pretty much everything else has got to be constructed ourselves so we've got to come up with our own designs as to how our bikes will function," Feilding High School's Caleb Jensen said.

Caleb crashed on his practice lap but remained confident ahead of his opening race.


The minimoto GP was dreamt up ten years ago by Feilding High School's Head of Engineering Roger Emmerson.

"The whole idea - the whole foundation of it all was to make engineering fun," he said.
"There's nothing better to get students to enjoy a subject than to give them something that interests them."

Back then there were 14 students. Now there are more than 100 just at Feilding High School.

All up more than 200 come from around the North Island to race their bikes at Manfeild.
"We've had good success with employers who come basically looking for students," Mr Emmerson said.

"I mean what's better than going for an interview for a job and they ask you what did you make? Here's a motorbike, and album of photographs and a record of what I did. And a lot of the boys get the job straight away."

And one of those may be Caleb - who picked himself up from an earlier tumble to win his first race.

"Came through, got a good start and lead the race pretty much the whole way. Didn't lean over as much in the corner which meant I didn't crash which meant it was easy to stay upright."

This year's MiniMoto GP celebrated ten years of teaching students what Mr Emmerson says will always be sought after skills.

Made with funding from NZ on Air.