A high-energy solar car contest to spark young minds

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Students race their cars at North Albany Senior High.
Camera IconStudents race their cars at North Albany Senior High.

Students in Albany tested their engineering skills by building and racing miniature solar cars for the Statewide annual Synergy Schools Solar Challenge.

The local heat was held on Thursday at North Albany Senior High School, where Year 6 and 8 students from nine schools in Albany, Mt Barker and Denmark battled to head through to the State grand final.

Students had build their solar car that morning before racing against the other schools.

The Year 6 champion team was from St Joseph’s College, while a Mt Barker College team took out the Year 8 title.

Trish Hines with her Year 6 team of Antonia Knuiman, Reagan Gough, Eva Hack and Rawley Landells.
Camera IconTrish Hines with her Year 6 team of Antonia Knuiman, Reagan Gough, Eva Hack and Rawley Landells.

St Joseph’s College winning team teacher Trish Hines said bad weather gave the students an extra challenge.

“Being able to teach the students how to build and race prior to the event really set the students up for being able to adapt to any changes, like the inclusion of the battery during the competition due to the bad weather we had,” she said.

North Albany Senior High School science teacher and Albany competition host Zac McGill said students were motivated by the challenge.

Mt Barker Community College’s Year 8 team Cameron Templar, George Theron, Eric Williams & Jacob Offer.
Camera IconMt Barker Community College’s Year 8 team Cameron Templar, George Theron, Eric Williams & Jacob Offer.

“The competition is a great, practical way for kids to learn how to harness solar energy,” he said.

“Students make new friends and have a perfect opportunity to put their knowledge to the test.”

The two winning teams will compete at the grand final in Subiaco on March 30.

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