On Thursday, all our Year 9 pupils were treated to a STEM challenge. They were ‘off-timetable’ for the entire day and challenged to enter an ‘Alternative Car Show’.

The group were split into teams and tasked with designing, making and racing solar powered cars. Each team was then divided into different sections, all with a different focus. Design, marketing and build sub-teams were all required to work together to create a desirable, well-functioning and affordable product. A basic kit was provided with materials to build their vehicle, along with a budget and costings sheet with which to record any additional materials “purchased” from the “onsite shop”.

During the morning session the groups concentrated on the design and creation 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.

Teams 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.

Senior School | 25/06/21