Summary of Unit
The Solar Car Challenge unit provides students with the opportunity to investigate the principles behind electric vehicles and the importance of finding alternative energy sources to drive the transport industry. Students will develop an understanding of electric motors and investigate key concepts related to motion.
Students will use the iSTEM process to develop a solution to the Solar Car Pursuit Challenge and integrate the use of technology to analyse aspects of their vehicle’s motion.
In this resource page, there are materials to support a range of different STEM Learning Activities that are related to Motion. Teachers are encouraged to select a STEM Learning Activity which best suit.
STEM Learning Activities – SISP Mini Electric Vehicle Challenge
The SISP Secondary solar car challenge is designed to be used in conjunction with the Kite Magic Solar Car kits for students to apply their knowledge of solar energy and electric circuits. Focusing on technology and engineering, these kits are ideal for iSTEM classes. Schools are encouraged to use the solar car kits to run an in-school or intra-school solar car challenge at the end of this unit, where students test their designs. This solar car pursuit race is designed to test students’ skills of engineering and photovoltaics. Students will need to solve many problems before they have a car ready to race in this event, require team-effort plus a range of new skills.
Students will need to consider some of the following – wheel size (this may require 3D printing or laser cutting); gear ratios; connection of the two solar panels for series and parallel; placement of components; angle of the solar panels; friction points on the car plus the guides needed to help the vehicle around the track; different types of materials for the chassis and other parts of the car, plus more that students will think of as they build their car. Teachers may also like to add a creative side and look for the best looking car. See resource section below for instructions and videos on how to construct and draw a solar car.
This unit requires the school to purchase the Kite Magic Solar Car Kits.
A class set of eight kits is suitable for 24 students. Each kit is made up of 2 Solar Panels – 2v, 700mA, 4 wheels, 2 Axles and Axle collars, 1 motor – F18 with plastic mount, 2 large spur gears, 2 small pinion gears, 1 battery pack, a coloured corflute chassis and a toggle switch. To purchase a class set, contact Kite Magic 02 9045 1662 firstname.lastname@example.org