Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield hosts solar challenge

Forget the Melbourne Cup, the biggest race on the first Tuesday of November might well just be the annual UNSW SunSprint Model Solar Challenge.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield are hosting the first part of the event which invites primary and secondary students from across NSW and ACT to build and race solar cars or boats using renewable energy sources.

UNSW is supplying the school with a 20-metre track and a boat pond on the day for the MiniSprint portion of the event which includes a solar boat competition. All cars are built from kit materials, consisting of a solar module, motor, gears, wheels and corflute chassis.

The host school is entering teams from all year groups into the competition, with the majority coming from their Year 9 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) class.

"Students' STEM knowledge will be integral in implementing parts that are designed to make their car/boat efficient and more effective," Patrician Brothers' Year 9 STEM class teacher Joshua Bryers said.

"Students will get a sense of accomplishment and, of course, bragging rights against other schools if they perform well.

"But, ultimately, this task is all about learning."