Solar Car Challenge Module
This web-based module is based on the API STELR solar-powered car challenge.
The Australian Power Institute provides a limited number of fully-sponsored class sets of solar-powered car kits to selected Australian STELR schools. The schools must undertake to host a visit from a power engineering undergraduate engineer to interact with the students and give a talk about careers in engineering.
Students can build, electrically connect and control their car. They can then devise methods of increasing speed, for example by changing gear box ratios, changing wheel diameters and tyre treads and by reducing wind resistance.
Students can also investigate front and rear wheel drive performances. They can add weights to compare pulling powers. Students problem-solve to reduce friction, increase efficiency, have contests on furthest distance travelled on one capacitor charge, race up hills and more.
The drive assembly can be swivelled so that the cars travel in circles.
The model cars can be assembled by connecting the solar cells directly to the motor. The students can also use switches to run the car using the capacitor as an energy reserve.
The model cars can be dissembled for use by other classes now or in future years.
The module compliments topics covered in renewable energy modules, including:
- Electric circuits
- Energy transfers and transformations
- Solar cells
- Gears / simple machines
Maps to Physical sciences for Years 6, 7, 8 and 10
Click here to download the 2018 API STELR Solar Car Manual
Click here to download the STELR student booklet: Solar Cars - Mathematics of Gears
Click here to see a video on How to Build a Solar Car
Click here to see a video on how to Change the Gears in your solar car
Click here to download a slide show with step-by-step instructions for constructing your solar car.
Additional Solar Car kits can be purchased using the Solar Car order form.