Wilkes University


SHINE of Luzerne County at Wilkes University Held Student Derby Race at Hanover High School

Middle school students revved their engines and pointed their derby cars downhill on May 20 when they competed at the derby race hosted by SHINE of Luzerne County at Wilkes University.

Fifth- to eighth-grade students in SHINE after school programs at the career and technical centers of Wilkes-Barre, West Side and Hazleton worked on their derby cars for ten weeks and were joined by students from the Carbon County SHINE program at the Carbon Career and Technical Center for the race.

Students at each of the centers designed and built the cars as part of a ten-week unit that required them to use STEM skills in action. Students designed and built the braking systems, steering and safety harnesses of the cars as well as the bodies. They learned the physics of what makes a derby car go, used 3D modeling in developing their designs, and took measurements and used carpentry skills in assembling the vehicles. Artistic skills were used to paint and decorate each vehicle.

Each of the nine derby cars had a community sponsor and the car sported their color and logo.

Pictured are some of the car sponsors and event coordinators.


Row 1, left to right, Rhonda M. Rabbitt, Wilkes University Dean of the School of Education; Kathy Bozinski, United Way of Wyoming Valley; Mark Grochocki, district director for Sen. John Yudichak; Carol Nicholas, director of Luzerne County SHINE Program at Wilkes University.

Row 2, left to right, Superintendent Andrew Kuhl, Hanover Area School District; Tom Leary, Luzerne County Community College STEM activity sponsor; Mike Hopkins, CEO of Children's Service Center; Charles Barber, The Luzerne Foundation; Tyler Breznitsky, representing Congressman Lou Barletta; Mike Wood, Wilkes University; Anne Skleder, provost, Wilkes University; Terese Wignot, special assistant to the president, Wilkes University; Deanna Drako, SHINE, assistant director; Marlon Pitts, SHINE, assistant director. Absent from the photo were car sponsors Don Brominskki, UGI; and Kathleen Lambert, McCarthy Tire.