Students at Luther Burbank Middle School have been working for the past seven months to restore a dilapidated 1979 VW Beetle Convertible. The goal was to convert this car into the Luther Mobile and to have it carry our principal, Dr. Brian O’Rourke in the Burbank On Parade. The students, worked with Exploring Technology teacher, Joe Reed, after school on the project.
The mechanical work was completed with the help of the Warner Bros. transportation department. The students replaced the transmission, clutch, axles, brakes, running boards, exhaust system, fuel tank, and many other parts.
Fifty students worked in teams of about ten students to get the job done.
Burbank High School’s ROP animation department held a contest for the logo design. Over fifty students competed with Mariah Wood’s design being selected. She worked over 25 hours on this one Illustrator file. Ghostlight Industries, a movie car company, allowed students to come visit and learn about their business. They replaced the upholstery, carpet, rubber pieces, and painted the car.
“We won a Burbank Arts for All grant for $1,000. The students also sold slushies after school to raise money to help with the expenses. Jordan Lopez from Burroughs High School’s ROP program photographed the finished project and framed and matted all of our photos,” said Reed
Students certainly learned all about the mechanical parts and functioning of a car. But the REAL lesson was articulated by the students themselves. They said they learned to: work as a team, think on their feet, reach out to the community and talk to community leaders. Most importantly, they learned that to take on an extremely complex project like this, to dream big, and then to complete it, was the best lesson of all.
They already have the idea for next school year’s project. If you would like to help with this, contact Joe Reed at Luther Burbank Middle School.
More information may be found at www.luthermobile.com.