Solar Racing

In this 'Energy Education for the 21st Century' design challenge, students construct and evaluate a solar-powered model car. Students utilize the design process and undergo review by their peers to select an optimal gear ratio and components for their car. As a culminating activity, students compete in a Solar Sprint race modeled after the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Junior Solar Sprint competition.

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PBS Teachers
Activity takes four to ten 50-minute class periods depending on depth of investigation. Additional materials necessary.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This activity requires a solar kit that costs about $32 per group of students, which amounts to spending about $8 to $10 per student.

Some students will need careful guidance with materials, especially those who are not used to building.

Literacy and Resources

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