Our reporters Jayden and Ava T from Year 6 have this to share about their Synergy Solar Car Challenge experience.
On the 2nd of April 2019 St Emilie’s went the Synergy Solar Car Challenge at Mazenod College. The children who represented us were Sophia C, Sophia E, Ava T, Jayden, Jacob and Jack T. Mrs Ryan attended the event with us, so thank you so much for coming, we really appreciate it.
We started to build our car at 9:30 am. The first thing Sophia C and Sophia E placed was the axel in the wheel while Jack worked on the putting the gear into the other wheel and axel. Next Jack placed the wheels and the gears into the chassis. Next Sophia C worked on putting the wires into the solar panel. Jacob put the guide pins on the chassis.
We measured it with a piece of paper before we started the building process. We measured the track to see where to put the guide pins. We snipped the wires with the pliers to make the wire even. Jacob added the switch and the 2 wires. We had a small battery case and batteries in case it was too cloudy, but it was a beautiful sunny day!
Jack and Sophia E worked on placing the motor on the chassis. We used the alligator clips to attach the wires. Sophia C placed the alligator clips onto the motor. We had some difficulty with the cable ties. In our kit we didn’t get a cable tie. We attached the solar panel to the chassis. We propped up the solar panel with some small foam blocks. So far it was looking good. Jack put the battery pack on the chassis. Then we balanced it.
We went outside at 10am to go to test drive it to see if it worked. Then we could fix anything that didn’t work. We placed the car on the track, and it moved nice and smooth. It is a very fast car. There was just one problem. It was not revving hard enough. We were feeling so confident about the race. But we were trying our best to make it work. Sophia E and Jack were trying to fix the car up to make our car the best.
We were starting to become more confident about our car. It was now even faster than before. But it was still not going as quick as it should. We were very stressed by now. We raced for a third time for good measure. We did a quick change of gear. We raced it for one more time. We all thought it was really good. We stood a chance of winning. We went back inside at 10:20 and at 10:30 we were going to start to race our cars.
We went outside to race. Our number was number 6 and were in round 4. On the first race we came 1st even when we started the races and our car didn’t start up straight away. All the other cars were ahead of ours at that time, but our car started up and we overtook all the cars. On the second race we came 1st again but our car didn’t stop at the beginning that time. We had major good luck, but we still had 2 more rounds to go.
Round 2 our car came 2nd. On our second race our car came 1st. On our third and final race our car came 2nd. On round 3 our car came 1st. On our second race our car came 1st again. Overall, we won the Synergy Solar Car Challenge and we came 1st place for Year Six 2019! We will be attending the grand final on the 9th of April at Optus Stadium. Keep an eye out for your local newspaper, as all of our team will be in a photo about our victory win! Thank you so much for reading. I really appreciate it.
Here are some movies of our experience.
An extension to our commitment to Waterwise Schools is to look at protecting our water sources in WA. Recently Claire Hammersley from Murdoch University’s Environmental Assessment and Management came to St Emilie’s to present an incursion to the Year 6 students about aquatic weeds, in particular Amazon Frogbit.
Here are a few photos of the incursion. The students learned that Amazon Frogbit was recently declared as a ‘weed’ It was originally brought into WA as an aquarium plant but unfortunately has ended up taking over our waterways, depriving our native species of nutrients and oxygen.
The students learned about the different types of aquatic weeds and their habitats in a waterway.
The students had the opportunity to observe and investigate Amazon Frogbit and a native aquatic plant called Duck Weed.
Claire showed small groups of students the ‘catchment model’. The catchment model demonstrates how water travels on the landscape and shows how water pollution impacts the whole catchment and environment.
This week the students had a visit from Megan Brown from Waterwise Schools. Megan gave presentations to the students on a variety of Waterwise topics.
Megan explained about the important work of the Water Corporation and it’s role to provide clean and healthy water to Western Australians.
Megan showed us water ‘before’ it goes to the treatment plant.
And we compared the water to ‘cleaned’ water.
Megan told us how the dams used to provide Perth with enough drinking water but because of our drying climate we now have to source other water resources.
We learned how there is limestone in the ground around Perth. Limestone ‘holds’ water.
Megan showed us this fantastic model of the water cycle and we could see how the water soaks into the ground below.
We learned about the desalination process.
To conclude we learned that our drinking water comes from three sources – dam, ground and desalination.
The Year 5 students had an interesting presentation about how Aboriginal people valued and sourced water and the strategies that they used to locate sources.
The Year 6 students completed a quiz using Keepads.
We learned about the desalination process – how the water is processed using
- ultra filtration
- reverse osmosis and
- ultra violet light
This is the unit used in the reverse osmosis process.
The water goes through four stages before it is pumped into our water supply.
The Year 3 students participated in a drama activity about the water cycle.
The focus in the Year 4 session was to learn how leaves use and transport water. The students had the opportunity to use their Rotary microscopes.
We thank Megan from Waterwise Schools for sharing her Waterwise knowledge with us. The presentations were most informative.