Students from across the State will today harness the sun’s energy to do battle for racing glory, in a major initiative to ignite students’ interest in science.
The 2019 Synergy Schools Solar Challenge has taken place over the past six weeks, with students in Years 6 and 8 building and racing solar-powered cars against other school teams.
A joint initiative between Synergy and the Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia, the program was designed to address the comparatively low number of students choosing to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects by promoting creativity, exploration and experimentation.
Building on the success of previous years, the 2019 challenge featured four regional events in Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Collie.
The number of schools participating in the challenge has increased from about 64 schools in 2017 to 156 schools in 2019.
The McGowan Government has been working to develop WA’s first ever State STEM skills strategy, with the goal of ensuring every school student has an equal opportunity to develop STEM skills for the jobs of the future.
By 2030, it is estimated that workers will spend double the amount of time solving problems and 77 per cent more time using science and mathematics skills.
As stated by Energy Minister Bill Johnston:
“I look forward to attending my first Synergy Schools Solar Challenge today as Energy Minister.
“The competition is a great way for students to learn about renewable technologies and it encourages them to consider studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects.”
As stated by Science Minister Dave Kelly:
“One of the McGowan Government’s priorities is to increase the number of Year 12 students completing two or more STEM courses to 85 per cent by 2024.
“Challenges like this support this commitment by providing an exciting and fun opportunity to promote the value of STEM.”
The following schools will compete in the grand final:
Amaroo Primary School
Bunbury Primary School
Bunbury Catholic College
Collie Senior High School
Cowaramup Primary School
Duncraig Senior High School
Harrisdale Senior High School
Hope Christian College
Huntingdale Primary School
Melville Primary School
Presbyterian Ladies’ College
St Emilie’s Catholic Primary School
Warnbro Primary School
Wembley Primary School
York District High School