The Kent Solar Car Challenge was piloted this year with the following aims:
- To be a fun way for children to learn about the environment as well as engineering, science and graphic design
- Promote solar energy
- Meet National Curriculum targets on teaching sustainability, environmental education and design and technology
- Raise awareness in schools and in the wider community of issues such as renewable energy, climate change and pollution
The project targets 8-11 year olds (Key Stage 2) as well as their parents and teaching staff. The participating schools were sent a photovoltaic (solar) cell, motor and gearing wheels, with the brief to design and construct 2 cars to enter into 2 competitions. The first competition involved the children entering a car into a flat race over 20 metres. The car therefore had to be designed and built solely for speed. The second competition allowed the children to use their imaginations and create a car to compete in a design competition. As long as the car would move, the children were free to experiment and try anything! Schools all over the county were initially contacted in February 2004, car kits were sent to the participating schools in April, and an event was held in each of 11 local authority areas throughout June and July.