Science and Technology

Solar cars competition ignites student interest in science

solar panels stock image

Students from across Western Australia will harness the sun’s energy to do battle for racing glory, in a major initiative to ignite students’ interest in science.

The 2019 Synergy Schools Solar Challenge has taken place over the past six weeks, with students in Years 6 and 8 building and racing solar-powered cars against other school teams.

A joint initiative between Synergy and the Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia, the program was designed to address the comparatively low number of students choosing to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects by promoting creativity, exploration and experimentation.

Building on the success of previous years, the 2019 challenge featured four regional events in Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Collie.

The number of schools participating in the challenge has increased from about 64 schools in 2017 to 156 schools in 2019.

The WA Government has been working to develop WA’s first ever State STEM skills strategy, with the goal of ensuring every school student has an equal opportunity to develop STEM skills for the jobs of the future.

By 2030, it is estimated that workers will spend double the amount of time solving problems and 77 per cent more time using science and mathematics skills.

Source: WA Government

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