Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Big Race

We went to the Model Solar Car challenge at Scienceworks last weekend. All three of our kids were competing, racing the cars they have built all year against all comers.

Here's Catriona, watching her car, Random Stranger, rip into the lead! Sadly, a wire came loose (that's a pretty rare event) and the car came to a halt. They repaired it and raced again in a later round.

And here's the boys' car, Fluffy Foam, winning one of several races. Notice the cars have eggs as "drivers". Breaking your egg is a bad thing!

And here's Fluffy Foam, with the solar panels not yet in place. This blue foam is a popular building material, at Box Hill anyway.

These little cars have solar panels driving one wheel. There's no batteries allowed. The cars run on a track with a guide rail. The track is a figure 8, which means there is a mean little hill to manage! Also a bridge to go under - on really low sun days, even that is an obstacle.

And here's Random Stranger being worked on. This team decided not to go with the traditional foam. For their efforts, their car was considered for "Best Engineered". It was another car from Box Hill that won that one, but the girls got the opportunity to answer questions about their design!

And the final results were : in a thrilling grand final, Canterbury Girls SC beat Melbourne Grammar. It was best out of five, and in the first race, the girls' car came off the track (as they sometimes do when the sun really comes out). Next race, and the girls' car came to a complete halt (we know what that feels like!). They were given a short interval to make repairs, and they went on to win three in a row!

All four finalists go to Perth for the Nationals - and Box Hill had a car in fourth place, so we are represented there. Yay!

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