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STEM on roadshow across the Territory

solar-car-race
CDU and Inspired NT are embarking on a 10-day STEM Roadshow to engage with school students across the Territory in science activities such as the solar car race.

Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Inspired NT are launching the 2022 STEM Roadshow which has opened with the NT Schools Solar Car Challenge at CDU.

About 40 students from Nakara Primary and Henbury Schools participated in building the fastest miniature solar car on June 15.

The event kicked off the 10-day Inspired NT and CDU Outreach Darwin-Alice Springs roadshow run by CDU Science and Engineering students.

The roadshow will see the outreach team go to schools in Darwin, Adelaide River, Katherine, Mataranka, Elliot and Alice Springs and run a variety of STEM activities with students from year one to eight.

CDU STEM Pathways Lecturer and Inspired NT Manager Dr Carla Eisemberg said the solar car race and STEM Roadshow would spark the interest of young Territorians in the latest technologies.

"Solar energy will be at the forefront of many future careers. By kick-starting an interest in this technology in primary school students we hope to inspire a new generation of skilled youth who will be the NT workforce of the future,” Dr Eisemberg said.

After the solar car race, the outreach team will embark on the roadshow to run STEM workshops for students from transition to year eight, Questacon ultraportable exhibits with CDU engineering students, learning about solar energy and solar cells during hands-on workshops.

The solar car race proved to be a highly engaging and exciting activity for the participating young students from Darwin, who were delighted to see their miniature solar cars race against each other.

The winning teams in Darwin won miniature drones as prizes, and their solar cars will race against other schools from the Territory for a bigger prize during Science Week in August.

CDU Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor Steve Rogers, said the Northern Territory needed the new generation to take up professions in STEM.

“The number of students studying STEM in universities has been declining over the years, but STEM subjects are critical to the future of our communities,” Professor Rogers said.

“At CDU, we engage with the community in activities like the STEM Roadshow to get children interested in science and technology. The activities show children that science can be a lot of fun and show them the practical applications of science.”

It comes as CDU is recruiting a solar car team to participate in the 2023 World Solar Challenge, the longest distance solar car race in the world that runs from Darwin to Adelaide.

Previously, CDU’s signature solar car Desert Rose has represented the Territory in the international event several times from 1995 to 2003.

To register interest in the CDU Solar Challenge Team, head to www.cdu.edu.au/alumni-giving/cdu-solar-challenge-team

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