Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services; Industrial Relations

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Minister for Water; Forestry; Youth

    Solar cars competition ignites student interest in science

    9/04/2019 6:30 AM
    • 76 students to take part in Synergy Schools Solar Challenge Grand Final today
    • Students to race their own solar-powered cars at Optus Stadium

    Students from across the State will today harness the sun's energy to do battle for racing glory, in a major initiative to ignite students' interest in science.


    The 2019 Synergy Schools Solar Challenge has taken place over the past six weeks, with students in Years 6 and 8 building and racing solar-powered cars against other school teams.


    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 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects by promoting creativity, exploration and experimentation.


    Building on the success of previous years, the 2019 challenge featured four regional events in Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Collie.


    The number of schools participating in the challenge has increased from about 64 schools in 2017 to 156 schools in 2019.


    The McGowan Government has been working to develop WA's first ever State STEM skills strategy, with the goal of ensuring every school student has an equal opportunity to develop STEM skills for the jobs of the future.


    By 2030, it is estimated that workers will spend double the amount of time solving problems and 77 per cent more time using science and mathematics skills.


    Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:


    "I look forward to attending my first Synergy Schools Solar Challenge today as Energy Minister.


    "The competition is a great way for students to learn about renewable technologies and it encourages them to consider studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects."


    Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:


    "One of the McGowan Government's priorities is to increase the number of Year 12 students completing two or more STEM courses to 85 per cent by 2024.


    "Challenges like this support this commitment by providing an exciting and fun opportunity to promote the value of STEM." 


    The following schools will compete in the grand final:

    Aquinas College

    Amaroo Primary School

    Bunbury Primary School

    Bunbury Catholic College

    Collie Senior High School

    Cowaramup Primary School

    Duncraig Senior High School 

    Harrisdale Senior High School 

    Hope Christian College

    Huntingdale Primary School

    Kiara College

    Melville Primary School 

    Newman College  

    Penrhos College 

    Presbyterian Ladies' College

    St Emilie's Catholic Primary School

    Warnbro Primary School

    Wembley Primary School  

    York District High School


    Energy Minister's office - 6552 6700

    Science Minister's office - 6552 6100