Salmon Arm students harness the sun to make solar powered cars

Jaylynn Anderson carefully puts a rubber ring on one of the wheels for her car at Hillcrest Elementary on Tuesday, June 11. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)
River Wright attaches the wires from the solar panel to the electric motor on her car at Hillcrest Elementary on Tuesday, June 11. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)
Hannah Sato and Aliana Torrie check the parts in their solar powered car kit in their classroom at Hillcrest Elementary on Tuesday, June 11. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)
Landyn Gouger focuses on sticking an electric motor to the base of his car at Hillcrest Elementary on Tuesday, June 11. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)
Neil Caves demonstrates the next step in the car making process at Hillcrest Elementary on Tuesday, June 11. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)
Nolan Walter, Davin Lawson, Elias Rands and Carter Schmidt race their newly built cars outside at Hillcrest Elementary on Tuesday, June 11. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)
Aliana Torrie and Landyn Gouger watch as their cars speed off at Hillcrest Elementary on Tuesday, June 11. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

A group of students at Hillcrest Elementary School has learned to harness the sun’s energy.

The learning came in the form of a workshop where they had the opportunity to make their own solar powered cars.

Neil Caves, a retired teacher librarian and director of Shuswap Solar Energy Society, taught Tyra Menzies’ Grade 4-5 class how to make a small solar powered car from the wheels up.

Read more: Summerland council considers land use at proposed solar site

Read more: Column: A solar pioneer in the Okanagan rides among us

The students formed groups of two and each group was given a kit which contained the car’s components. Then, with detailed instruction from Caves along with help from hot glue guns, sandpaper and scissors, the cars started to take shape.

There was problem-solving and troubleshooting to be done along the way – a valuable lesson on its own, but Caves’ intended teaching point was one of precision.

“It’s crucial for kids to understand how accuracy is important,” said Caves. “If you don’t measure things accurately or line things up accurately your car will just go in circles.”

Read more: City to investigate solar power potential of three municipal buildings

Read more: Site selected for Summerland solar project

Once the cars were completed the students took them to the track, a paved part of the playground with access to plenty of sunlight. Sometimes the cars wouldn’t budge, then one of the children would ask their friend to move so their shadow wasn’t covering the solar panel.

“The main thing I would like these kids to take away from this is how solar energy actually works and how the solar panels work,” Caves said.

The pre-packaged parts used by the students were put together by SunWind Solar on Salt Spring Island.

Caves hopes to take the workshop to middle school and high school students as well.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Open house to reveal proposed changes to Balmoral intersection on Trans-Canada Highway

The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce has already provided input to the ministry

Dancing with Shuswap Stars attracts Rust Valley Restorers

TV show stars join quest to hone some fancy footwork

Salmon Arm residents learn how to protect properties from wildfire

Removing debris from forest floor can help stop fires from spreading

Thunderstorm leaves small fire near Adams Lake in its wake

Wildfire crews in the Kamloops Fire Centre are also fighting a small blaze near Kamloops

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

‘This is unbelievable:’ Raptors dazzled by massive crowds at downtown Toronto parade

Mayor John Tory declares it ‘We The North Day’ after team’s historic NBA title win

Portion of Okanagan highway closed due to vehicle incident

Accident happened on Highway 6 a few kilometres east of the Village of Lumby; detour in effect

More student housing for UBC Okangan

B.C. government to build $25-million, on-campus building to address high demand, low vacancy rate

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Update: South Okanagan fire in mop up mode at Greenwood Forest Products

An employee said as he was coming in for his shift at around 4:39 a.m. he heard a loud explosion

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

Okanagan pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Vernon’s Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

Most Read