Broadening Horizons

Model Solar Car - Extra Curricular Program

The Victorian Model Solar Vehicle Challenge is usually held at Scienceworks on the second weekend of term 4 each year with the Australian International Model Solar Challenge being held at the end of November each year. Our Model Solar Car program is designed for students to make cars to compete in the Victorian event and for the best cars to hopefully be invited to the National Event which is held in a different state each year. We try to take as many students as possible to the national events as it is an opportunity to see what schools all over Australia and some internationally have produced when given the same regulations. It is also a great experience for students to travel interstate with the school.

We offer model solar car as a program to help enrich our students schooling experience. The students involve themselves in all aspects of the design and construction of the model solar cars under the guidance of teachers and industry professionals. They are given the opportunity to develop a range of skills such as drafting, manual soldering, fitting and turning (using mills and lathes) and fault finding. Scientific investigation is also encouraged using a range of devices such as dynamometers, a 2m long wind tunnel, Cathode Ray Oscilloscopes, multi-meters and Light Boxes (devices which imitate the sun).

Nigresta on Track @ Melbourne Museum

The program is open to all students at the school, however we recommend that only students who are truly interested in the opportunities the program offers undertake it as it is an incredibly time intensive commitment. We estimate there is around 90 hours total time commitment per student as well as requiring a significant amount of dedication to the project. Students in VCE should be especially aware of this so they can manage both their studies and the program.

The general time commitments are Wednesday or Thursday afternoons from 3pm to 4.30pm, with the program commencing in late term 1 (students who are new to the program will undergo training during term 1). There will also be a weekend commitment, of either Saturday or Sunday each fortnight, with the days alternating to allow students to work around other extra curricular commitments.

The Current Victorian Car Regulations and Design Guide are available on the Current Students page in the Model Solar Car section.