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A Burton Center student works during a practice run in December 2016.

A motor sports engine building team from the Burton Center of Arts and Technology will showcase its skills in Richmond this month.

Team Vibrant Performance will quickly assemble and disassemble an engine during the Oct. 11-13 Richmond Folk Festival.

Virginia Humanities, the state’s humanities council, announced the Roanoke County high school students are part of the organization’s Virginia Folklife Program. The theme is “Hot Rods and Hot Licks,” and focuses on Virginia’s car culture, said Jon Lohman, director of the Virginia Folklife Program.

The Burton Center’s engine building team has earned high honors in the world of automobiles. Coached by motor sports technology teacher Chris Overfelt, the team has won first place in three of the past five years at the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge Dual Championship, a national tournament.

Lohman said he received a strong recommendation to add the team to the festival lineup.

The students will time themselves as they disassemble and reassemble a small Chevrolet engine multiple times during the event. The team completed the same task with an engine in under 17 minutes at last year’s national tournament.

Lohman said the high schoolers will be the only students performing at the festival. Other area automobile demonstrators include Jack Harris of Salem, Tom Van Nortwick of Franklin County and Roddy Moore, the recently retired director of the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum at Ferrum College.

American Legion contest

The American Legion Post 3 is offering Roanoke Valley high school students a scholarship opportunity through an oratorical contest.

The annual competition focuses on the U.S. Constitution. This year’s subjects are taken from the 12th, 20th, 24th and 27th amendments, according to the legion post.

Topics will include the Electoral College, the right to vote, compensation for elected officials, presidential and vice presidential terms and presidential succession.

At the local contest, contestants will receive their topic with five minutes to prepare for their speech.

Winners of the local contest receive $250 and compete in a regional competition. Regional winners advance to a state competition, and a shot at the national contest and scholarships ranging from $14,000 to $18,000.

American Legion Post 3 said students can ask teachers or guidance counselors for an application. The deadline to apply is Jan. 2.

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