get excited about energy education
Solar Rollers is the relentlessly hands-on, energy-focused STEM education program for high schools. Teams of students design and build solar-powered radio-control cars capable of traveling via sun power at 25mph or more. At the end-of-season Trophy Race, the teams come together to race against their peers.
Working as a team, Solar Rollers students learn the ins and outs of a complete energy system including generation, storage, efficient use and reliability. Most importantly, they emerge from the program excited and engaged in finding energy solutions - at every scale.
KEY Program COMPONENTS
Each team receives a sophisticated materials kit with all of the raw materials needed to build a complete Solar Roller -while allowing maximum design freedom. Top-of-the-line materials include SunPower solar cells, a large sheet of TenCate carbon fiber, brushless Castle Creations motor and speed controller, and much more.
Teams require only basic tools and adult supervision - but this is also a perfect opportunity to utilize advanced fabrication tech such as CNC machines, custom circuits/programs, vacuum lamination, laser cutters, 3D printers, etc.
The Solar Rollers Online Pit Area guides teams through the process of designing, building, testing and racing. This multimedia course is supportive for the team members and also for the teacher or team leader who may also be working with these technologies for the first time.
Through the course, teams can ask questions of our staff and discuss challenges with other teams in their area.
A Solar Roller can be built and tested in about 40 hours of team time. Teams are typically made up of 5-10 students.
Six Competitions in One Full Day:
20 Questions Panel Quiz
- Top Speed w/ Storage
- PV-Direct Top Speed
- PV-Direct Circuit Race
- Main Trophy Race
- Fastest Lap
Teams are challenged by a panel of experts on their knowledge of energy systems and solar. The top speed of their car is tested both with and without a battery - and they can let any driver try for the fastest lap of the day.
The main event is a 60-minute endurance race after limited solar charging - many teams are forced to make quick repairs during the race. 21 trophies go out to the teams at day's end.