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 carried down and remaining just as present.
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.
Race day for the 2021 Tasmanian Challenge will be held on Saturday November 20th at Clarence High School. Further information and a schedule for race day will be released in the lead up to the event. Event scrutineering typically commences at around 9am and is then followed by racing through to approximately 1-3pm depending on weather and how far teams progress through the final knockout rounds.
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 all Tasmanian school or home-schooled students 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 building your model solar powered car today!
Get Started Today!
Simply take the following steps to get your Challenge experience underway.