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Students take on the solar car challenge

Main: St Andrews Christian School principal Mac Lindsay (far right) with the teams as they line up with their cars, prior to Friday’s solar car challenge. Inset: Team 1 – Daniel Dobber and Sandy Harris with their solar powered car. Image: Lynne Mowbray.
Technology students in years 9/10 at St Andrews Christian School in Grafton have taken a ‘hands on’ approach to learning, after being tasked to build small solar powered cars. The 12 students are part of the schools automotive technology class which forms part of the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths] program. The students were not only tasked with the construction of the small cars, but the many challenges associated with making them run at their full potential. The students had to use maths to help calculate speed as well as how to draw and best harness solar power. On Friday the five teams conducted a solar car challenge on the school’s sports courts, where they battled it out for the fastest car. Team 1 comprised of year 10 students Daniel Dobber and Sandy Harris, who worked together on their car. “We’ve worked together on the project for a week to construct it; wiring it and doing the wheels, axles and solar panels etc,” Daniel said. “We had to make sure nothing was covering the solar panels and check that the capacitor was turned on to make it go faster. “It’s a good practical way of learning,” he said. Sandy said that it was a great way of getting students engaged in learning. “Who knows, this could be the way of vehicles in the future,” Sandy said. “Some classes can get a bit boring just looking at a whiteboard and this [class] is a lot more interesting and engaging,” he said. St Andrews Christian School at Clarenza will be holding their open day on September 6 and anyone wishing more information can contact Jo Gutteridge at the school office, on 6643 4770.