Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project - Latest News

Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project

Semester 1, 2021


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?

In partnership with Jaunt Motors, Kangan TAFE, Thales Australia, and the Discovery Science and Technology Centre, Bendigo Tech School is building an electric car to be made available for hire as a community enterprise. 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 automotive waste, upcycling, future transport sustainability and Girls in STEAM career pathways. Get the project outline here


The project will run over 12-18 months and will include industry tours and visits, guest speakers, practical 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.




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!



Vehicle Disassembly

28 April


We've started! Every Wedensday in Term Two, girls from four schools will help dissassemble our classic Range Rover in preparation for restoration. We are working on the car in the Bendigo South East College Automotive workshop.


So far we have removed all exterior trim, headlights, grille, the windscreen, rear tailgate, and have started work on removing the interior. The bonnet and some of the front panels have come off too. Engine and transmission are out. Our goal is to remove the body from the chassis by the end of Term. 


3D Scan
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. The spacious boot is perfect for storing dismantled RRC parts. Democracy at work - Tuscan Blue is winning
WEEK 5 - Some of the hardest to access fastenings were the seat bolts...note the slightly unconventional method of removing dash screws. Doors are now off and rear floor is out.  Only the dash, wings and side windows to go before we remove the body. Works temporarily on hold due to C-19. 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. 


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