LESMURDIE’S Mazenod College hosted a semi-final of the 2017 Synergy Schools Solar Challenge last Tuesday.
More than 500 students across Perth have taken part in the Synergy and Science Teachers Association of WA (STAWA) initiative.
Year 6 and Year 8 students built and raced solar-powered kit cars in four semi-finals in the lead up to the grand final, which will be held at Kings Park tomorrow.
Year 8 teams from Mazenod College and Helena College and Year 6 teams from Huntingdale Primary School and West Byford Primary School will take part in the final.
Eight Year 6 teams and eight Year 8 teams will be competing.
Synergy chief executive Jason Waters said the challenge was all about getting kids excited about science while educating them about the benefits of solar and renewable energy.
He said the fun hands-on approach also meant children were learning basic engineering principles.
STAWA president Glenda Leslie said participating schools were given solar car kits and curriculum-linked support material.
“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 WA’s future,” Mrs Leslie said.
“STEM capabilities are developed when students are challenged to address real-world problems using problem-based learning.”
She said students had to think about how certain modifications to their cars, such as adjusting the solar panel angle or basic gearing, would affect its speed on race day.
For more, visit synergy.net.au/community.