The Sasol Solar Challenge received a warm welcome from the community of Winburg on 10 September when we made the second control-stop in the town.
Residents comprising all ages and including, town officials, learners and school teachers gathered at the main street of the town to welcome and support the solar car teams, which were competing in this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge, as they were driving in the town.
“We are pleased that the Sasol Solar Challenge was so well received in Winburg and that the community was excited to host us and to learn about the cutting-edge solar cars which were designed by the teams,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “The excitement that we received in Winburg shows how impactful the event is, in educating and demonstrating the importance of STEM as well raising an awareness on the use of renewable energy globally.”
The Sasol Solar Challenge conducted a schools programme in the town. Eight schools from the area participated in the programme which was conducted at the control-stop. The learners had an opportunity to learn more about solar technology, robotics and e-mobility through solutions created for real-world challenges.
Brunhilde Rossouw, Councillor of Winburg and town ambassador said: “Our children don’t often get these opportunities to experience STEM in real-life. I was a school teacher for 35 years and there is nothing more exciting than introducing programmes to learners that can entice them to become interested in possible future careers. We are grateful to the Sasol Solar Challenge for bringing this event to our community and we hope to see the event here again in 2024.”
The schools programme ran alongside the event and was conducted in partnership with Microbotics. Microbotics offer robotics, programming and electronic modules for scholars.
Learners took turns in three stations at the venue to learn about solar technology, e-mobility and robotics 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).
Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol said: “One of the key objectives of the Sasol Solar Challenge is to motivate and inspire young people to generate new technologies and ideas. It also helps them to understand various STEM and energy concepts and encourages knowledge application. It was wonderful to see young people in Winburg showcasing technologies that they have developed on their own.”
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.