As we think about team sustainability in the coming years, we realize that it is important to preserve the knowledge of experienced members. One of our central ideas as a team is to pass our learnings on to future members; this allows us to build upon existing skills and knowledge, providing each member with the best experience. We dedicate the first few months of every school year to leading new members through an onboarding process. This process guides new members through the different sub-teams, tools, and expectations of our team so they can be self-sufficient throughout the rest of the year.
This past Monday, the 19th of September, our team held our first meeting with prospective members of the team. A small group of the team gave the new faces an overview of team expectations and long term goals. We had an amazing turnout with over 50 students!
Meeting attendees packing up for a tour of the solar car
We have ambitious goals for the 2022-23 season. This year’s goal is to build a new car from scratch. We are moving towards what is known as a bullet design, which is becoming increasingly popular in college-level solar car challenges such as the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. In previous competitions, we have used a catamaran design, which takes full advantage of the 1.8-meter maximum width. The bullet design can cut power-consumption in half as it is more aerodynamic and produces less rolling resistance. But we will be limited to only half the solar area, so we need to make the car as efficient as possible.
Bullet (top) and Catamaran (bottom) design of a solar car
As for new members, they can expect to spend the next few weeks doing onboarding homework, reading rules for the competitions, and watching onboarding videos. Then we will begin the synchronous onboarding process, where the new members can immerse themselves in the team by shadowing members and working on their own projects. We are really happy to see so much enthusiasm this year and hope we can keep this momentum going for the rest of the year!
Members explaining different parts of the car to prospective members