Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project - Latest News

Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project


This is the 2021 project page. For 2022 Updates, Click Here


Bendigo Tech School’s Girls in STEAM Electric car has commenced! Thanks to a significant philanthropic donation from Kirkland Lake Gold's Community Partnership program (CPP), this exciting project is underway. 




What is the Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project?


Bendigo Tech School is building an electric car as an aspirational Girls in STEAM community enterprise project to encourage local young women to explore engineering and trades pathways. This exciting project is aligned with our future transport and new energies focus and will start an important narrative for students and the Bendigo Community about the circular economy, future transport, and sustainability.

Over 24 months, the students involved are restoring and converting a Range Rover Classic into a Tesla powered 4WD with guidance from a range of industry partners including Jaunt Motors, the Kangan Automotive Centre of Excellence, and Thales Australia.

The program includes industry tours and visits, guest speakers, practical hands-on activities, talks and workshops with industry mentors and the opportunity to develop automotive knowledge and skills. Girls will also be involved in the project management of the entire initiative.

When complete, the car will be made available for hire, with profits to be re-invested in youth-driven community enterprises and start-ups. This project was made possible with a 200K donation from Kirkland Lake Gold’s Community Partnership Program.


Get the project outline here



Industry Partners and Sponsors

·      Kirkland lake Gold

·      Jaunt Motors

·      Thales Australia

·      Kangan TAFE/ACE

·      Discovery Science and Technology Centre

·      Cola Solar

·      JET Charge

·      Chargefox

·      Custom and Restoration Services

·      Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars

·      Hattam Street Tyre and Automotive

·      O’Brien Electrical Bendigo




In the News

We've had a huge amount of media interest in the Girls in STEAM Electric Vehicle Project since we started in March, including a brief spot in Channel 10's Advancing Australia series. Be proud...Bendigo's young people are in the national innovation spotlight!



March 2022 Update


During February, the Range Rover chassis arrive back from Jaunt Motors with its freshly engineered electric motor mounts. We reassembled the axles and chassis with help from Hattam Street Tyre and Mechanical, which everyone really enjoyed, particularly packing bearings with grease by hand! Our electric motor has been ordered from Zero EV, and we are now ready to start restoring the body and panels.


There is little repair remaining on the firewall before we send the body frame away to be blasted ready for priming, which we will be doing at Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars. Cola Solar will be installing our charger at Discovery very soon, which will be made available for public EV charging. We are very thankful to sponsors JET Charge for donating the charger, Cola Solar for providing free installation, and Chargefox for giving us a free membership on their charging network.



This project encourages local young women to explore engineering and trades pathways. We have had several new local girls join the program, including our first Bendigo TAFE student! We are looking forward to showing off the hard work of this dedicated group at the Trades Fit Expo for Women in Trades in May along with industry partners Kirkland Lake Gold and Safescape.



3D scanning of the engine bay and rear chassis at Jaunt Motors. These CAD files will be used to design the electric motor mounting/placement and battery boxes. Loading the Rangey for the journey back to Bendigo.

All secured for the journey...

WEEK 1 - Arrival at BSE. First session with Group A. This is the last time the car will be seen complete for a while. Look at those smiles!

After a quick induction and tools/fastening briefing, the girls start removing the headlights, grill and indicators. 

Some of those fastenings are stubborn! The girls apply problem-solving techniques to loosen nearly 40 years of corrosion and grime.
A hive of activity! The Range Rover Classic is just an outsized Meccano kit. Every part can be unscrewed or unbolted. WEEK 4-  The Bonnet and external panels are off. Group B facing the tricky challenge of corroded fastenings. Door bolts are proving a challenge, even with a rattle gun and blow torch. Solution - add more WD40 and try again next week!
At the halfway point and roughly halfway through disassembly. WEEK 5 - Some of the hardest to access fastenings were the seat bolts...note the slightly unconventional method of removing dash screws. WEEK 9 - Moving day! We completed Term 2 at Bendigo South East and have now moved to our new home at the Discovery Science and Technology Centre.
All moved into to our beautiful new workspace and ready for the next stage of disassembly. WEEK 10 After undoing every single one of the aluminium roof fastenings with a screwdriver, Del celebrates the moment of liftoff.  No turning back now...the body frame is completely disassembled ready for rust treatment and restoration. 
Removing more of those pesky fastenings Rust and bitumen removal from the frame Quick re-assembly of the engine bay to take data points and measurements for Jaunt Motors to design battery boxes. Damian from Ballarat TS popped in to help out for the day.
Who is that masked welder? New door sills being welded in.    


NGV Melbourne Design Week Project Launch

29 March


This week we held our NGV Melbourne Design Week event 'Building a Tesla powered Range Rover in high school', in partnership with Jaunt Motors.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear about Bendigo Tech School and Jaunt's exciting Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project, in which our Bendigo girls will convert a classic 3-door Range Rover to electric operation.

Students from Bendigo South East College and Crusoe College shared their passion and interest in the project with the audience and gained valuable insight into the electric vehicle conversion process through touring the Jaunt workshop. 

We'd like to thank everyone who attended, as well as our special guests: Dave, Marteen and Rob from Jaunt; Doug Peters, who is kindly donating the Range Rover for students to convert; and Felicia Binks from Kirkland Lake Gold's Community Partnership Program who have generously sponsored this project.

We're so excited for this project to get underway! Click to watch a short or a long version of the launch.

   Launch Video Full


International Women’s Day Industry Tour

9 March


This week we celebrated International Women's Day with the launch of our Girls in STEAM Electric Vehicle Project. The kick-off event for this project is pictured above - a local industry tour to highlight some of the automotive, engineering and manufacturing pathways available to young women in our community.


The full-day tour visited two national innovation leaders in Automotive design and manufacturing; Safescape with General Manager Allison Deadman and Thales Australia, with Joshua Di Camillo, Technical & Engineering Director. Along with a visit to Bendigo TAFE to explore the pathways that lead to automotive and manufacturing careers.

The Australian manufacturing industry currently employs over 900,000 people, with women making up 1 in 4 employees. Safescape General Manager Alison Deadman says that industry tours are important to increasing the visibility of the great engineering opportunities in regional Victoria and encouraging young women to pursue these careers. 


Girls from Bendigo South East College and Girton were highly engaged, super enthusiatic and asked some really in depth questions. We can't wait to start the EV build with this group.


We visited:


Safescape - a specialist provider of safety equipment for the mining industry. They have just started producing the Bortana EV, Developed to face heavy-duty challenges in mining.  We visit the factory to find out all about this innovative new electric vehicle.


Thales Group - a French multinational company that provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets. They produce the Hawkei, a light four-wheel drive protected mobility vehicle that delivers class-leading blast and ballistic protection. Thales Bendigo has the only remaining design and build automotive production line in Australia.


Bendigo TAFE has a has a rich history of providing education for local people and preparing them for work in local jobs. We visit the Bendigo TAFE Automotive and Engineering + Manufacturing departments for some taster activities, including designing a small project for production on advanced manufacturing equipment.


IWD Tour


Semester 2, 2021 Activities

From July, the project continues as a community enterprise at the Discovery Science and Technology Centre. Hands on practical workshops will be run in the Discovery workshop most Saturdays between 10am and 4pm. Visitors to Discovery are welcome to view our progress in the workshop, located behind the vertical slide.

Semester 1, 2021 Activities

Planned activities in Semester One, 2021:

9 March 

International Women’s Day Industry Tour

18 March

Parents information night

29 March

NGV Melbourne Design Week Event - Jaunt Factory Visit

Kangan Automotive Centre of Excellence Tour

April 21 - June 9

Vehicle strip down/disassembly

Wednesdays during Term 2 at Bendigo South East College


Get the Semester One 2021 Program Guide Here


Parents Information Night

5.30pm,18 March | Bendigo Tech School


This evening event is for girls and their parents to find out all about Bendigo Tech School’s Electric Car project, how and where it will be delivered, and how to be involved. We share the full project plan and introduce some of our industry partners. Register here


NGV Melb Design Week - Building a Tesla powered Range Rover in high school

+Kangan Automotive Centre of Excellence Tour

Monday March 29


Our EV project and partnership with Jaunt features as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, hosted by the National Gallery of Victoria. This event showcases Jaunt’s role in Australia’s future transport puzzle, sparking the imagination and driving us toward more sustainable travel. Students will share their passion and interest for our project at this event, and gain insight into the EV conversion process. We will also visit Kangan Automotive Centre of Excellence, Victoria’s foremost TAFE automotive training facility. ACE brings together customised, hands-on automotive training, research and development in one precinct. ACE are assisting us with the restoration of our EV through their apprentice program. Get the tour schedule here


Click here for community event registration 




Vehicle strip down/disassembly

Wednesdays 2-4pm in Term 2 | Bendigo South East College


We will commence the conversion of our donor vehicle at Bendigo South East College, who have kindly offered us the use of their Automotive training facility every Wednesday during Term 2. Over an 8 week period, we will strip and disassemble the vehicle in preparation for restoration activities. Students will undertake a workshop safety induction and be instructed in the use of tools, and will receive instruction and mentoring from industry experts. 


To find out more, contact us.







This project is generously sponsored by the Kirkland Lake Gold Community Partnerhip Program.



Get in touch

Contact us

03 5444 7113
Level 3, Engineering & Technology Building,
La Trobe University,
Sharon Street, Flora Hill