About The Challenge

The Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge is the state division of the Australian-International Model Solar Challenge, a nation-wide school competition where finalists from each state and territory compete against one another for the crown of the Australia’s fastest model solar powered car. The Challenge engages all areas of STEM and presents students with a hands-on project that is only really limited by their imagination.

The first model solar car event was held in the early 1990’s in Victoria. A group of university professors, students and teachers involved in the inaugural World Solar Challenge felt that a simpler, lower cost version of the event should be made accessible to a younger audience. The model solar challenge was thus formed, with many of the concepts and problems faced in the WSC being preserved.

In order to participate in the model solar challenge students must design, build and race a model car that’s powered by nothing more than direct sunlight. Despite no batteries being allowed, cars run in virtually any weather conditions and it’s amazing how little solar energy is needed for racing. Racing is conducted on a specially constructed plywood track and cars navigate around this by the use of a guide rail.

New regulations for the Challenge are released at the start of each school year and students must then finish their cars before the event date. Some designs take several months while others just a few hours to complete. 

The 2019 state titles will be held at Clarence HS on November 2nd, with an event timetable yet to be published. Registration and scrutineering typically commences at around 9am and is then followed by racing through to approximately 2pm. Finalists will be selected to represent Tasmania at the 2019 Australian-International finals, also held in Hobart over the weekend of November 30th & December 1st.

The Challenge is all about making Science and Engineering fun and aims to foster student interest in the areas of STEM, with many participants then going on to pursue further studies and careers in these fields. Learning about Photovoltaics is at the very core of the Challenge and paves the way for further exploration into today’s solar technology, its uses and where the industry is headed in the future.  

Below are a couple of short promotional video clips produced by the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia for the WA event and by Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology for the Victorian Model Solar Challenge. They give a great insight into what the Challenge is all about.

Getting involved in the Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge is easy. The competition is open to any Tasmanian school-aged student up to Year 12 and entry is free. Teams can be made up of a single student, a small group or an entire class. Students may even like to take it on as a personal project away from school. Put your STEM hats on, get hands-on and start your model solar powered car today! 

Get Started Today!

Simply take the following steps to get your Challenge experience underway.

Step 1

First things first. Check out the new regulations for 2019. Teams will need to design their solar car in accordance with these. Skip to Section 9 for the actual car specifications.

Step 2

Take a bit of time to browse through some photos from past events. They're a great place to start and might help give you a few ideas when designing your new car.

Step 3

Head on over to the Challenge Help and Supplies pages for more information on building a car and where to go for parts and materials. There are details on a parts list and how to build a basic car on the Supplies page. Be sure to check these pages for updates, new stuff is often added throughout the course of the year.

Step 4

Contact the Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge and register your expression of interest for 2019. You'll be added to the Challenge emailing and kept up to date on all the latest news & info as the year progresses. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the event, regulations or require any other assistance.

Step 5

Consider signing up to the website's new Forum and become engaged with the wider solar challenge community. Use this space to post questions, discuss topics and help create a public learning space for the benefit of everyone.

Step 6

Get designing and building today. At home or at school, by yourself or in a team. The simplest cars can take just a few hours to build, more complex ones days, weeks or even months. It's entirely up to you! Just keep in mind that the 2019 Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge will be held at Clarence HS on Nov 2nd.

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