About The Challenge

The Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge is the state division of the Australian-International Model Solar Challenge, a nation-wide schools’ 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 and teachers involved in the inaugural World Solar Challenge had found it to be a highly educational experience for their students and 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 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. Unlike the World Solar Challenge there are no batteries allowed. Racing is conducted on a specially constructed 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 2018 state titles are being held at the MMACA Model Park, 137 Howard Rd, Goodwood, Hobart on December 1st. Event details will be published as the event draws near but registration and vehicle scrutineering typically commence around 10am. This is then followed by a round robin racing format from approximately 11am-1pm. Finalists with the greatest number of race wins will be selected to compete at the nationals. 

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 there are no entry fees. 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. All that is needed is the motivation to build a model solar powered car. 

Get Started Today!

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

Step 1

First things first. Check out the new regulations for 2018. Teams will need to design their solar cars taking these into account. Skip to Section 8 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 for updates as more stuff is added to these pages from time to time.

Step 4

Contact the Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge if you have any questions regarding the event, need something in the rules clarified or require any other assistance.

Step 5

Get designing and building today. At home or at school, by yourself or with friends, it doesn't really matter. 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 this year's Tasmanian event is being held on Saturday December 1st, 2018.

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