Amaroo students win solar car challenge

WINNERS: Johnathan Davis, Regan Moloney, Cael Emmett and Lucas Worlley triumphant at Synergy Solar Schools Challenge grand final in Perth. Photo: Supplied
WINNERS: Johnathan Davis, Regan Moloney, Cael Emmett and Lucas Worlley triumphant at Synergy Solar Schools Challenge grand final in Perth. Photo: Supplied

Amaroo Primary School is leading the way in cultivating the next generation of energy engineers, after emerging triumphant from the grand final of the Synergy Solar Schools Challenge at Optus Stadium.

The team of four - Lucas Worlley, Cael Emmett, Regan Moloney and Jonathan Davis - battled it out against schools from across the southern half of Western Australia to take out the Year 6 division of the competition.

Amaroo Primary School technology leader Nicole Ambrose was thrilled with her team's win.

"When the boys' car won every race in every round in Perth, I can honestly say it was like a fairy tale. It confirms my belief that it doesn't matter what your post code is, if given a chance, anyone can be a champion," she said.

"The Amaroo team worked really hard in their own time to develop their knowledge around solar energy, building and wiring the cars.

"They had discussed speed and wind resistance and created what they hoped were fast cars."

Rose Bolderson and Ebony Whitney represented Collie Senior High School in the Year 8 section, racing through to sixth place.

The Amaroo and Collie Senior High School teams had competed days earlier in the Collie heats against other local schools to earn their place to compete in Perth.

This year is the first year there has been a dedicated regional round of the competition held in Collie.

Synergy's manager of thermal generation Leigh Amos congratulated both schools that represented Collie in the final.

"While the aim of the program is to get more kids involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects, it's the cherry on top to see Amaroo Primary School take out the top prize - especially in their first year of competing.

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 STEM subjects.

The challenge was a hands on opportunity for students to learn about solar energy and basic engineering principles before putting their knowledge to the test and competing against other schools.

This year over 4,000 students participated across the year 6 and year 8 categories. Throughout the school term students learnt about the mechanical and electrical aspects of building a solar kit car and then put their skills to the ultimate test.

Minister for Energy Bill Johnston attended the grand final and presented awards to the day's winners.