Synergy Solar Challenge races down to Albany for another year

Jacob Morgan-de LaineAlbany Advertiser
Race day the the Synergy Solar Schools Challange;
Camera IconRace day the the Synergy Solar Schools Challange; Credit: Krysta Guille

Albany students went head-to-head last week at St Joseph’s College for the Synergy Schools Solar Challenge.

Designed to promote renewable energy education in schools the challenge is a joint initiative between Synergy and the Science Teachers’ Association of WA.

Students from Years 6-8 learn about renewable energy, virtual power plants, battery technology, and electric vehicles.

Students from St Joseph’s College, Braeside Primary School, Mt Barker Community College, Little Grove Primary School, Kwoorabup Nature School, Katanning Senior High School and North Albany Senior High School were involved.

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St Josephs College contained their winning streak, claiming victory at both year levels.

Synergy stakeholder and community partnerships manager Anne Carton said it was fun to be in Albany.

“We have run the challenge for a number of years now,” she said.

“We have been doing a bit of for tour of the South West.

St Jospeh’s College Year 6 winners.
Camera IconSt Jospeh’s College Year 6 winners. Credit: Krysta Guille

“We have been working with the science teachers association of WA to develop a curriculum, worksheets and lesson plans for students to learn basic stem principles around energy and engineering.

“Really just trying to promote an early interest in those STEM subjects and ignite that passion.”

Ms Carton said the race day itself was the practical application of those lesson plans

“The children arrive and they get a build-a-car kit, they build the car on site as part of the challenge then race off against each other going through heats, semifinals and the finals.

“For Albany, we did the grand finals in Albany just recognising that it is a fair distance to go up to Perth to compete.

Synergy chief executive David Fyfe said students would learn important science, technology, engineering and mathematics lessons through the challenge.

“The Synergy Schools Solar Challenge offers a unique opportunity for young minds to build STEM skills and knowledge by learning about solar energy, battery technology and engineering principles,” Mr Fyfe said.

“We hope to inspire and educate our future energy leaders through the Challenge to support a more sustainable future for all Western Australians.”

St Joseph’s College was the Year 6 champions ahead of Braeside Primary School while in the Year 8 category St Joseph’s again reigned supreme with Mt Barker Community College runner-up.

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