Solar Racers First-Year Seminar (1) Students explore solar energy engineering by designing, building, testing, and racing a model car powered by a photoboltaic panel.
EDSGN 012S Solar Racers First-Year Seminar (1)
This engineering First-Year Seminar, Solar Racers, is intended as a topical introduction to the field of solar engineering with a focus on solar electricity. Through hands-on activities, readings, and research, students explore the application of solar energy to power a model car (and by extension, solar electricity generation in general). Working in small teams, students design, build, and test a model solar-powered car. This seminar emphasizes active learning via project-oriented teamwork. Solar principles to be demonstrated include solar angles, solar resource, and conservation of energy. Students also use spreadsheets and computer models to perform parametric studies as an aid in the design process.
Classes typically begin with a review and overview of the topics for that day. Class time is spend discussing new material, recent assignments, and working in the lab. Students also serve as mentors and advisors for local middle school students who will also be building and racing similar model solar cars.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.