NORTHERN suburbs students gathered in Duncraig last Thursday for a semi-final of the Schools Solar Challenge.
The Science Teachers Association of WA (STAWA) and Synergy launched the challenge earlier this year, with 64 State and private schools competing to build and race identical solar cars with supplied kits.
The schools were permitted to have three or four teams of four Year 6 or Year 8 students each.
The March 30 semi-final at Duncraig Senior High School included Year 6 teams from Carine Primary, St Mary’s, Quinns Rocks Primary and Hillarys Primary schools.
The Year 8 teams came from Duncraig SHS, St Mark’s, Woodvale SHS, Warwick SHS, Shenton College, Perth Ladies College, Butler College, Servite College, St Kieran’s, St Andrew’s Grammar School and Mirrabooka SHS.
Both Duncraig and Warwick had Year 8 teams that secured places in the final, which will be held at Kings Park tomorrow.
Year 6 teams from Mary McKillop Primary School in Ballajura and Hillarys Primary School also qualified for the finals. The other semi-finals were held at Carmel College, Willetton Primary School and Mazenod College in Lesmurdie.
The competition was |developed to give students opportunities to learn about solar energy and engineering and complement science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning.
Students from 15 WA schools will compete in tomorrow’s grand final, having outraced their peers as more than 500 students from 60 schools who took part in the semi final events.
STAWA president Glenda Leslie said the challenge received an “overwhelming” response and they hoped it would become an annual event.
“At a time when there’s a declining interest from students to continue studying science in senior secondary school, we are extremely excited about the positive feedback,” she said.
“Getting students excited about science has its challenges and this initiative is a fun way for students to learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills.”
Synergy chief executive Jason Waters said the challenge aimed to get children excited about science while teaching them about the benefits of solar and renewable energy.
“We can achieve this through a fun hands-on approach which also includes learning basic engineering principles,” he said.
“We’re pleased to partner with STAWA to deliver an initiative that fosters innovation, accountability, collaboration and trust.”
GRAND FINAL SCHOOLS
Belmont City College
Christian Brothers College
Dianella Secondary College
Duncraig Senior High School
Warwick Senior High School
Mary McKillop Primary
West Byford Primary