Carmel School shines in solar challenge

Carmel School students will take part in the Synergy Schools Solar Challenge grand final.
Carmel School students will take part in the Synergy Schools Solar Challenge grand final.

CARMEL School will have two teams in the first Synergy Schools Solar Challenge grand final in April.

More than 500 students from 64 schools in Perth took part in the inaugural challenge, a joint initiative between Synergy and the Science Teachers Association of WA (STAWA), which enables Year 6 and 8 students to build and race solar-powered kit cars against other schools.

Four semi finals were held throughout two weeks this month that saw two teams from Carmel School, which hosted the March 21 semi-final, to make it into the grand final.

STAWA president Glenda Leslie said schools received the car kits and learned about solar energy throughout the term.

“Getting students excited about science has its challenges and this initiative is a fun way for students to learn STEM skills which are vital for Western Australia’s future,” she said.

“STEM capabilities are developed when students are challenged to address real-world problems using problem-based learning.

“Subsequently, the Challenge is about getting students to think about how certain modifications to the standard solar car kit, such as adjusting the solar panel angle or basic gearing, will affect the speed the car will travel on race day.

“The team that can modify the standard solar car to make it the fastest will win the competition.”

Synergy chief executive Jason Waters was pleased the organisation was involved in something that fostered innovation, accountability, collaboration and trust.

The grand final will be held on Wednesday, April 5 at Synergy Parklands, Kings Park

For more competition information visit www.synergy.net.au/community.