Solar car

Solar car

What is it?

The Solar Car Challenge is an exciting program designed to provide opportunities for students, teachers and local industry to work together to design, construct and race a remote controlled solar powered car.

The program began in 2003 by concerned local industry leaders in an effort to raise awareness of and link students into the manufacturing industry, and has continued to grow in strength each year since that first race.

The goals of the project are to:

  • Build strong and ongoing relationships between industry and schools
  • Promote careers in manufacturing to students and the school community as a whole
  • Engage students in a way that the traditional education process may not be meeting

How does it work?

Students and a teacher are aligned with an Industry Mentor and provided with basic parts / materials to design and construct a solar powered car. The project culminates at a gala race day where all teams compete for one hour, with the winner deemed as the team who’s car has completed the most laps of the purpose built track.

Each school and/or industry mentor has the opportunity to build other activities into the program, including: industry tours; career education and media/promotion.

A little bit of history....

The Solar Car Challenge project is an innovative education partnership between local industry and schools where teams of students work with an industry partner/mentor to design, build and finally race a model solar car.

From an idea in 2003 the Solar Car Challenge has continued to grow in strength from the first race day held in 2004. Subsequent national recognition from the Federal Government via the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) as an Adopt a School Project has assisted with the continued success of the program.

In 2008 the project received funding from the Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIIRD) to undertake a research project into the history of the Solar Car Challenge and investigate the pathways pursued by young people that had participated in the project from previous years.

A copy of the full research report, Linking Students to Industry, is available in the Project Documents download area or by contacting the North East Local Learning and Employment Network on 02 6056 0966.



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