STEM outreach & engagement
Throughout the whole solar car project we will be engaging with school students with an interest in STEM.
In consultation with schools, we have devised a light-weight STEM engagement programme for sixth-form students. Our feedback from teachers has been that the school curriculum is already very full and school budgets are limited. Our programme has been designed to be lightweight and low cost.
Building a remote controlled solar car
It starts for Year 12 in term 5 with a project to build a remote controlled solar powered car. We will provide some design guidance but it is up to individual schools to come up with their solution. The important part is to use the vehicle to assess how solar cars perform.
Participating schools will create a video diary that will be posted on the Schools area of the STGB website. As there is a cost – albeit small – to this first part of the engagement, it is optional, although we hope most schools will be able to find some funds.
Modelling our solar car performance
The second part ramps up the excitement.
In September 2017, the participating schools will take the knowledge (either through their practical experience in their model car, or through desk-based research) along with the specification of our car, and develop a spreadsheet model to estimate how we will perform in the race.
During the race we will release – exclusively for participating schools – a set of data from the car at the end of each day, along with video blog of how we are getting on (dedicated to them).
At the end of Thursday, they have to state their final estimate of our end performance and following completion of the race the school that is closest to the actual outcome will be crowned the winner. The prize?
Solar Team Great Britain will come to their school and give the students the opportunity to drive our Solar Car in the school grounds (under strict supervision – obviously!).
The project is also open to those students who are interested to use the project as a basis for a CREST Gold Award.
We are also to do more with schools and open to other ideas.