Topic outline

  • Topic 1

    What is the Synergy Solar Challenge?

    The Synergy Schools Solar Challenge is a challenge extended to all schools to prepare and race solar cars at a neutral venue.

    It is run supported by the Science Teacher Association of Western Australia.

    STAWA home page

    Solar challenge web page

    • Topic 2

      2020: Synergy solar challenge

      Who, where, when

      Group:                    North metro Synergy schools

      School year group:   Year 6

      Heat date:               Tuesday 17 March 2020

      Heat location:          Warwick Senior High School

      Teachers:                 Miss Connelly, Mr Weber

      Winners go through to a final later in the year.

      • Topic 3


        The Scientific process

        Making observations, measurement

        Recording the data in a table

        Five trials, remove top and bottom readings, average the result.

        Making inferences from the observed

        Properties of light

        Light spectrum

        Energy and light

        Solar tracking

        Light and energy as interchangeable

        Simple electronic circuit with power source, switch and LED

        Volts, Amps and Ohms

        Measuring electricity with a muti meter

        • Topic 4


          Google docs

          Folders and files

          Electronic circuits, wheels, gears, structure

          Build a bottle top racer
          • Topic 5


            Build the racer

            Afix the solar panel

            Select correct gears, wheels from provided assortment

            • Topic 6


              Calculate an average

              Angle of the sun (Trig)

              • Topic 7


                Working in groups

                • Leader
                • Engineer
                • Designer
                • Documenter

                Star Trek

                • Captain
                • Science officer
                • Engineering
                • Tactical officer
                Thinking skills
                • Topic 8


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                    • Topic 10

                      Tools etc

                      Multi meter

                      Box cutter


                      Shadow stick


                      • Topic 11


                        • Topic 12

                          Feedback 2020




                          • We were 5/12 in 2019
                          • We beat winners in test run
                          • Worked together
                          • Our car was well made
                          • Not using a switch made it faster
                          • Fixed things on the day
                          • Great muffins
                          • We missed the start
                          • Testing was poor
                          • Kids lost focus
                          • No inventory
                          • Angle of panel to sun was out
                          • Multiple curtain rail for track
                          • Pins on outside of track
                          • A school disqualified for false starts
                          • 2/4 finalists were from K-12 schools
                          • 2 finalists had panels flat
                          • Took too long to make, not enough testing
                          • Problems on start
                          • Some had small wheels at front, big at back
                          • Car did not go straight in testing
                          • Argument developed on who was in charge; solved by defined roles
                          • 1 kid missed the trip - forgot to hand in the form, turned up late to school
                          • Team was so busy building car, forgot about measuring the angle of the sun (asmith) 
                          • Lacked team discipline on game day
                          • Picking School counsellors was a retrograde step as they were often off setting up assemblies etc. and not available for lead up.
                          • We need to gain an advantage through planning and preparation.
                          • One school had a foam roller between car and panel
                          • Did kids make the link between lead up and actual day
                          • Am i taking this too seriously or is it and opportunity for whole school.

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