For 20 years the Kinetic Sculpture Race has been a Baltimore tradition presented by the American Visionary Art Museum. The public is challenged to create a work of art—a moving land/sea-worthy original sculpture—that is totally human-powered, pedaled, and engineered to travel 15 miles through Baltimore streets and neighborhoods to cheering crowds, bravely traversing all obstacles of sand, mud, and deep harbor waters. The race teams, aka “Kinetinauts,” are asked to problem solve, think green, and work as a team, while maintaining abundant humor as they vie for the Grand Mediocre East Coast Champion Award, in recognition of the team that finishes dead middle of the pack.
One of the competing teams, for the second year, is St. Paul’s School. As part of a class called “Design Thinking” the high schoolers learn the skills they need to create a kinetic sculpture, including welding, carpentry and engineering.