The Solar Challenge encourages young people to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics by showing what can be done with these subjects. The solar vehicles – from their aerodynamic design, to the telemetry used to plan their path, to the energy-converting technology, are impressive visual representations of the STEM subjects in action.
Education programmes that run concurrently with the challenge educate young people in the principles of science, technology, engineering, innovation, teamwork and business; and promotes collaboration between students, industry and government.
During the event, university students get an opportunity to practically apply the science and technology theory they’ve learnt at school or university, and South African students get a chance to test their engineering skills against some of the best solar car teams in the world.
The Legacy Projects Initiative was introduced in 2016 to support the communities along the biennial route. The Solar Challenge teams harness the support and expertise of technology experts, influential universities, embassies and corporates that are involved with the event to do this. Support given to communities along the event’s route includes research, upliftment, education, infrastructure, energy solutions, enterprise development and commercial projects. Legacy Projects allow the Solar Challenge to leave a lasting positive change on the communities we encounter along the route, creating 2 500 km of legacy.