Students build solar cars in STEM challenge

Clarkson Community High School deputy principal Geraint Davies surrounded by year 6 students from Somerly, Merriwa and Clarkson primary schools at the solar car challenge at Clarkson Community High School. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d494950
Clarkson Community High School deputy principal Geraint Davies surrounded by year 6 students from Somerly, Merriwa and Clarkson primary schools at the solar car challenge at Clarkson Community High School. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d494950

KEEN young scientists built solar cars using 3D printers in a challenge at Clarkson Community High School recently.

Year 6 students from Clarkson, Merriwa and Somerly primary schools took part in the ninth annual Clarkson Challenge in early August.

Laiken Bock (11) from Somerly Primary, Clarkson CHS teacher John Keyworth with the solar car race trophy, Baoyi Wang (11) from Merriwa Primary and Alana Crowe (11) from Clarkson Primary.

Head of applied science and technology John Keyworth said the academic problem-solving program in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) set problems for students to solve using scientific knowledge, technology skills and teamwork.

“The world is moving towards an energy crisis as fossil fuels begin to run out,” he said.

“Alternative fuels will need to be developed if we are to meet the transport needs of future generations whilst at the same time protecting the environment.

“Therefore, the idea behind this year’s Clarkson Challenge was to inspire our future scientists to solve this issue by producing an emissions-free solar powered car using sustainable materials and innovative techniques such as 3D printing.”

Somerly Primary School students Ashton Stern (11) and Phillip Nguyen (12) create parts for their solar car using a 3D printer.

Two teams from each school set to work to create a car and ‘The Bolt Juniors’ from Somerly Primary School won the event, receiving a trophy and 10 Scitech tickets.

“Students carried out research and investigated the problem and how to solve it,” Mr Keyworth said.

“They then designed their cars on paper before creating their cars and testing them.

“At the end of the day, each team ran time trials on the pre-built track.”

Merriwa Primary School students Casey Ansley (11), Andrew Giles (11), Cristopher Vaz (11) and Elijah Harding (11) with their solar car.
Clarkson Primary School students Anastasija Zdrunkovic (11) and Scarlett Hayward (12) at back, with Alana Crowe (11) and Nysha Shepherd (12) at front, testing out their solar car on the track.