Lesson 7 - 10

Solar car challenge

Lesson Overview

Solar car challenge

Throughout this lesson series students will explore the solar cell as a means of transforming solar energy into electrical energy. This electrical energy will be further transformed into mechanical energy that will provide the energy source for a solar powered car. Students will be challenged to design and build the solar car to meet performance criteria.

ACS Codes


Lesson Objectives

Students will:

  • Design and construct a solar car to meet specific performance criteria.

Evidence of Learning

Can the student:

  • Demonstrate the operation of a solar car that meets the performance criteria.
  • Evaluate the performance and suggest ways to improve it performance.

Example Learning Sequence

  • Consider the design criteria for the solar car: Performance, Re-cycled materials where possible, Low cost and use scientific principles of energy transfer and transformation.
  • Explore commercial designs that meet some of the key criteria.
  • Sketch designs based on key criteria and identify heat transfer methods.
  • Construct a basic materials list and obtain materials.
  • Commence construction and do basic tests.
  • Design and perform test that gathers performance data.
  • Analyse data and asses effectiveness.
  • Make design changes where necessary and re-test.
  • Challenge day performance.
  • Evaluation report.