Digital Harbor Dives into Kinetic Sculpture Race


    Digital Harbor High School, with support from our South Baltimore neighbors, has initiated a project to engage students in creating an entry in Baltimore’s famous Kinetic Sculpture Race.


    Competitors in this popular annual event, hosted by our neighbor the American Visionary Art Museum, build imaginative human-powered works of art and peddle them along a 14-mile course around the Inner Harbor that starts and ends next to Digital Harbor and includes sand traps in Patterson Park and a brief voyage into the harbor at Canton.


    Building an entry in the Kinetic Sculpture Race is a challenging project that offers DHHS students opportunities to acquire technology-related career skills, develop their capacity to persevere through challenges, and collaborate with community members and each other. Nicole Veltre and Kevin Boone are the DHHS faculty advisors spearheading the project.


    The DHHS Kinetic Sculpture Race Project – nicknamed “KSR416” – is a long-term effort by the school to build the organizational and technical expertise to sustain the project over several years, with the active support of our surrounding community. Our immediate goal is to field an entry in this year’s race on May 5, but our focus is on steadily building student involvement in KSR416 year after year.


    The DHHS administration endorsed the project late last year. School staff formed a planning committee that has been meeting with community supporters to lay the foundation for the project. Neighborhood businesses and residents have contributed expertise, materials, and fundraising support.


    Ms. Veltre and Mr. Boone have met with students in the Bike Club and Robotics Team about participating in the KSR416 project. A design for the sculpture’s underlying chassis is nearing completion. The sculpture will be powered by four bikes donated to the Bike Club. The KSR416 engineering team plans to begin “cutting metal” in mid-March at Elemental Metalworks in Pigtown.


    Neighborhood support for the KSR416 project has been strong. The project’s community lead, Cathy Strodel of Riverside Avenue, organized a fundraising event at the Federal Hill South Neighborhood Association’s annual chili cookoff January 28. Donations to date have come from the Riverside Neighborhood Association and several individuals.


    With barely two months until Race Day, there is a lot of work to be done before KSR416 takes to the streets of Baltimore on May 5. Look for updates here on our progress!




     KSR Vehicle

    The annual Kinetic Sculpture Race will send imaginative peddle-powered vehicles through the streets of Baltimore on May 5, starting and ending at Federal Hill next to Digital Harbor High School.




    South Baltimore resident and mechanical engineer Mark Winters (left), who is leading the construction of the sculpture’s chassis, talks with Evan Mickel, a DHHS Bike Club volunteer, about the design of the sculpture.




    Kevin Boone, DHHS faculty advisor co-lead of the project, met with community lead Cathy Strodel and other neighborhood volunteers on Feb. 21 at Digital Harbor.