Pupils were tasked with to designing, making and racing solar powered cars on Friday as part of a Year 8 STEM Challenge Day.
The students were grouped in the morning into teams which would be working together to create a car, fulfilling various different criteria that they would be judged on later in the day.
Teams were given a budget and costings sheet to record any materials they “purchased” from the “onsite shop” to both create and decorate their solar powered creations.
Members from each group were divided into different sections that dealt with design, marketing and also creating the circuits to generate the car’s power.
They were judged on their ‘presentation stand and marketing’, ‘design of the car’, ‘test results’ and ‘teamwork’ out of 10. There was also an award for the best budget car, which was decided by measuring the combination of the car’s speed on the test track, along with its manufacturing cost.
During the morning session the groups concentrated on the design and creations of their vehicles, along with completing their marketing campaigns. They also had to do some investigations into how solar power works, what safety features would be needed and research into how renewable energy sources work in vehicles.
The afternoon was when each team could put all of their hard work to the test, racing their cars against each other in a drag race. After some charging underneath the bright lamps, the races were underway!
Although the cars may have lacked serious speed, the competitiveness and innovative design created some close races and great excitement amongst the Year 8s.
The day ended with prizes and awards being handed to the best teams and a presentation outlining the importance of STEM and the need to be more environmentally conscious.