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

ACSHE135 ACSIS139 ACSIS141 ACSIS145 ACSIS146 ACSIS147 ACSIS148 ACSSU155

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.