Students test their solar cars on the final day of testing/racing.
Over the past month and a half, our outreach sub-team conducted a series of after-school educational activities with the 5th-grade students of Hazel Valley Elementary School. Through these presentations and hands-on activities, RAHS Green Energy Team (GET) members introduced students to the importance of solar energy and gave them hands-on experience with the engineering/design process we implemented while iterating our solar car.
This partnership aimed to teach upcoming middle school students the value of preserving solar energy practices while cultivating an interest in engineering and design.
Hazel Valley students listen to a presentation on the first day.
Beginning on February 3, 2023, members of the outreach and media sub-teams traveled to Hazel Valley Elementary School with the aid of Hazel Valley Principal Casey Jeannot to initiate our outreach program. Throughout the after-school sessions, we introduced students to a range of solar and engineering concepts such as parallel/series circuiting, the impact direction of light has on solar panel efficiency and modern applications of solar technologies such as solar cars!
Quinton Pho (12) and Larsen Matthew Mendoza (9) work with the students to set up their solar cars.
After another week of careful planning and preparation, GET team members returned with sets of miniature solar car assembly kits courtesy of the club advisor Scott McComb. Students experimented with different designs and wheel placements for each kit. As such, we hoped to maximize their creativity, simulating a similar working environment that the RAHS GET has produced in previous years.
Over the following few sessions, the group of 5th-grade students continued to dive into new engineering concepts centered around utilizing solar panels in designing and testing miniature solar-powered cars. Toward the end of this project, the Hazel Valley students raced their final designs against each other, visualizing the product of their work!
This collaborative effort between GET and Hazel Valley students demonstrates the team’s desire to continue promoting green energy/engineering as a vital way of education. As we continue doing outreach events over the coming weeks, we hope to inspire interest in renewable energy and solar-powered cars.
Photos by Daniel Sung (11) and Quinton Pho (12).
Timothy Jou (11), Eric Nguyen (11), Marshall Baughman (11), Larsen Matthew Mendoza (9), and the elementary schoolers pose for a victory photo.