The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge officially started today at Carnival City Casino, East of Johannesburg. Nine solar cars teams were lined-up at the start-line by 07:45, getting ready to depart the venue for the eight-day long endurance challenge. The event officials, sponsors and guests including the Belgium and Dutch embassy officials, gathered at the venue to wish the teams good luck.
Sasol, the title sponsor of the Sasol Solar Challenge waved the flag at the start-line to set off the solar cars as they were departing the venue.
Spectators from the Gauteng region and surroundings filled the venue to view the solar cars and support the teams as they took on Africa’s biggest solar challenge.
“We have been preparing for this event for four years now. It’s exciting to finally be back on the road and travelling through each town, driving an awareness of renewable energy as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics in young people,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “Today was a great start of the event and we look forward to more exciting moments in the next seven days.”
Addressing the crowd at the start-line, Charlotte Mokoena, Executive Vice President: Human Resources and Stakeholder Relations at Sasol said: “All the teams competing in this year’s challenge exemplify some of the best hands-on learning in STEM education. You are an inspiration to our youth to pursue careers in these fields. To all the young people here, I hope this experience ignites your passion and curiosity in science and technology.”
Day one of the Sasol Solar Challenge incorporated a schools programme which took place in Sasolburg, during the first control stop of the event. The programme was attended by roughly 800 learners from different schools in the area. Learners took turns in three stations at the venue to learn about solar technology, e-mobility and robotics in real-life. Each station, operated by Microbotics, a company that offers robotics, programming and electronic modules, 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). Among other modules, Microbotics offers robotics, programming and electronic modules.
Floris Niehaus, CEO at Microbotics said: “Microbotics aims to simplify STEM educational and make it interesting to young people. Our vision is to educate and train young people and teachers in programming, electronic and robotic skills by getting them to play with technology. We are grateful to the Sasol Solar Challenge for this opportunity to come here and engage with the school learners and through our demos, show them how different STEM and energy concepts work.”
Among other schools that attended the schools programme was Lehutso Primary School.
The school principal said he was pleased to see the learners participate in initiatives that inspire them to pursue STEM education.
“We are grateful to the Sasol Solar Challenge for organising the schools programme. Our learners have started working on energy solutions to address challenges that are faced by the community and the school itself. Their participation in this programme motivates and inspires them to develop even bigger energy and STEM solutions, and hopefully a solar car, which can compete in the Sasol Solar Challenge,” said Mpho Mofokeng, a school principal at Lehutso Primary School.
Day one of the Sasol Solar Challenge finished in Kroonstad – day one top three teams are: Brunel Solar Team, Agoria Solar Team and Tshwane University of Technology Solar Team.
Spectators are welcome at all stops, and more information on the route and the teams can be found at:
https://www.solarchallenge.org.za/ or on social media:
Sasol Solar Challenge App
For IOS system download here:
For Android system download here: