Engineered for success
Maningrida Community College students have constructed small cars to boost their understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics principles.
The 18 preschool to Year 10 students considered power options, wheel size, and wheel and motor placement in their designs.
Teacher Anthony Gomes said the exercise was an excellent way for the Garmadi Homelands students to hone their problem solving and troubleshooting skills, working to optimise the performance of the pulley-operated vehicles.
“The students are learning about renewable energy, and debated battery, capacitor, solar and wind generated energy as power sources for the machines,” he said.
“The cars were raced on cement, and time trialled on a course around the Homeland community.
“The students have been totally engaged by this project. Put simply, they love it. The cars have already been converted to solar power, and run successfully using a capacitor charged by a battery or the sun. The next step is to power them using a fan, and by gas created from kitchen ingredients.
“Feedback from the students has included, ‘How can I make my car go faster?’, ‘I want to make a car that will go through the boggy mud’, and ‘Solar power is great, but when the sun goes behind the clouds the car just stops’.
“They now have ambitions to build an electric skateboard, and a quadcopter.”