Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske is sponsoring the third Annual Solar Grand Prix competition in which students, grade 6-12, are invited to design and build a solar-powered model car that will complete a race in the shortest possible time using the available power.
The Solar Grand Prix challenges students to use scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation, and teamwork to design and build high-performance model solar vehicles.
Teams will receive a Solar Car Kit, which includes a solar panel and an electric motor. Using any other materials, competitors will design and build a model solar-powered vehicle that will race on a 20-meter (65-foot) racecourse. The winner of the competition will be the team whose vehicle is the top finisher in a series of head to head elimination rounds.
Solar Grand Prix Rules
Solar Grand Prix Vehicle Design Tips
Looking for construction tips or educational resources? There are a number of great resources at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Junior Solar Sprint website (remember that some of their rules may be different). The Introduction to Building a Model Solar Car is an especially useful resource for thinking about and understanding the different components of car design. Also check out "How to Build a Model Solar Car" which gives step-by-step instructions for building a model car. Don't copy the car exactly, because your car needs to be unique, but it might give you some useful ideas. View the PowerPoint Presentation from the Team Orientation on January 21st here. Finally, be sure to watch this video from Discovery Education that considers how solar power can be used to generate electricity.
For more information about the Solar Grand Prix, contact Rachel Powers, Neighborhood Liaison in the Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, 562-570-6932 or firstname.lastname@example.org.