Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s the old teaching the young…or maybe the young teaching the very young.

Wheeling Park automotive tech students are showing West Liberty’s 4th and 5th graders the nuts and bolts of building their own car.

A boxcar, that is, in a county-wide race at the end of the school year.

It’s all thanks to Williams Energy, who offered West Liberty Elementary some grant funding for a new education project over two years ago.

But there was a catch.

The condition is it’s got to be hands-on, it’s got to be fun for the kids, no textbooks, no worksheets.

Stacy Dietz, Principal of West Liberty Elementary

So they decided on a collaborative process with Wheeling Park, where over several weeks, the pre-teens would build, design and then drive their own gas-free vehicles built for speed.

They’re really trying to teach our kids what some of the tools are, and how we use some of the tools, and giving them the experience to just try to do a little bit, even if it’s just a wrench or a socket or something.

Amanda Shinsky, 5th grade teacher at West Liberty Elementary

It’s a lot of tools, materials and even responsibilities elementary students haven’t faced yet in their school career.

From the steering to the art design, it’s a sampler of the opportunities available once they become Park Patriots.

And beyond that, where they might like to go once they start on their career path.

I like it because I love working with tools and stuff like that.

Ford, 5th grader

I didn’t really but I kind of do now because it seems a little fun getting to see all the parts that I’ve never heard of.

Lillyanna, 5th grader

As these kids race past the finish line in May, they’ll also get a starting push on middle school and beyond.

So that one day, they’ll be the ones showing the younger kids how to tighten that bolt.

The big race will be May 23rd near West Liberty Elementary.