School solar car comp ignites interest in renewables

solar car
Year 6's from Amaroo Primary School competition winners with Synergy CEO Jason Waters (left) and WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston (right)

Students from across Western Australia have used the sun’s energy to do battle for racing glory, in a major initiative to ignite students’ interest in science and renewables.

The 2019 Synergy Schools Solar Challenge has taken place over the past six weeks, with students in Years 6 and 8 building and racing solar-powered cars against other school teams.

Year 8’s from Kiara College competition winners with Synergy CEO Jason Waters (left) and WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston (right)

A joint initiative between Synergy and the Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia, the program was designed to address the comparatively low number of students choosing to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects by promoting creativity, exploration and experimentation.

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Building on the success of previous years, the 2019 challenge featured four regional events in Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Collie.

The number of schools participating in the challenge has increased from about 64 schools in 2017 to 156 schools in 2019.

Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the competition is a great way for students to learn about renewable technologies and it encourages them to consider studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects.

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