The community of Knysna came out in numbers to view the solar cars that stopped in the town during the Sasol Solar Challenge early this month. The residents including school learners, flooded the Knysna High School sports fields to witness science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in real-life.
The control-stop in Knysna incorporated a schools programme which gave young people an opportunity to learn about solar technology, robotics and e-mobility in real-life. Each station had toolkits which the learners used as practical examples of robotics and solar energy. Some of the toolkits were provided by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The schools programme ran alongside the event and was conducted in partnership with Microbotics. Microbotics offer robotics, programming and electronic modules for scholars.
“The support that we received in Knysna was overwhelming. From town officials to school teachers, they all played a major role in making the schools programme in the town a success,” said Chanté van den Berg, coordinator of the schools programme. “We had a lot of young people joining us at the venue and they were all excited to engage with the teams and learn about the cutting-edge solar cars.”
Knysna is one of the towns which are embracing renewable and sustainable energy. The town has recently launched multiple solar projects including one for a primary school in the area (the school is now powered by solar energy).
“STEM education contributes to the solution of sustainable development goals by discovering new technologies. Our country needs young people who are excited to participate in the development of a sustainable energy future, where new skills are developed and harnessed to accelerate our transition to a low carbon economy, which has the potential to stimulate economic development. It was therefore thrilling to see so many young people joining us at the venue and getting excited to learn about STEM and solar technology in real-life,” said Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol.
Followers of the Sasol Solar Challenge can look forward to the announcement of new dates for the 2024 event, which will be revealed in the next coming weeks.