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School pupils race solar cars at London South Bank University

London SE1 website team

The atmosphere was electric when young engineers of the future built and raced solar-powered cars at London South Bank University on Saturday.

School pupils race solar cars at London South Bank University

The fun activity introduced pupils from eight London schools – including nearby Notre Dame RC Girls' School – to engineering and the impact its has on our lives.

Youngsters were given the freedom to create any solar car they wanted and spent several weeks designing, building and testing the vehicles with expert support from student ambassadors from the university who are studying engineering subjects.

And that culminated in the pupils visiting the university campus to race their machines against teams from other local schools in the 'Solar Car Challenge', which is now in its fifth year.

"This fun and hands-on activity inspired pupils to view science in a whole new way, giving them an insight into engineering, an understanding of what engineers do, and how this affects our everyday lives," said product design student Kadeza Begum.

"Pupils gained experience of team work, problem-solving skills, a practical application of science and technology, as well as insight into solar power and renewable energy concepts and the exciting world of design and engineering.

"The technical ability and commitment of the participating students was fantastic – it was really rewarding helping them to learn new skills."

Around 80 pupils aged 12-14 carried out tasks such as wiring circuits and building a gear box. The activities were based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

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