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The Automobile Show

Physics | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Car that runs on Solar Energy

The school was abuzz with an interschool competition, an automobile show.

The children had to make a car on their own, which they think would be used in the future, 50 years from now.

Martin said,“If they wanted us to make a car which already exists, I would have asked my father to just buy an exact miniature model.”

Nitin laughed and said, “The contest is not about who has more money. It is about creating something innovative.”

The science class started and the teacher discussed renewable sources of energy. How wind energy was being used to run turbines for agriculture. How steam was used to create electricity. How some villages in India had also adopted solar energy to produce electricity, for simple chores like heating the water and major areas like agriculture and even transportation.

The bell struck, but Eeshan kept thinking about what the teacher had spoken about in the class.

As Eeshan, Nitin and Martin were walking towards the canteen for a lunch break, Eeshan screamed, “Eureka!”

Nitin asked, “What is it Eeshan?”

“I know we can take part in the automobile show and possibly win too! Let’s enroll our names. Martin, we can talk to your uncle who owns the garage uptown. I am sure he will be a great help. And let us rope in our science teacher as the volunteer teacher in our team. We will make a car that runs on solar energy!” explained Eeshan

“It will be great if we can do it!” said Martin

They enrolled themselves and along with their science teacher, went straight to Martin’s uncle. They knew they had two weeks to make their model and participate, but they also knew making the car would not be easy.

Martin’s uncle was a huge help. First, they made the car chassis with a strong cardboard. It was difficult to get the right weight of cardboard ideal for the car and it predictably took many attempts. They fit wooden wheels from Eeshan’s wooden car using a pin to create the holes of the right size. Martin’s uncle helped to put a small motor pulley on the motor shaft that would help drive the car using the solar energy. Two solar cells were put side by side using a tape and a circuit was made using alligator clips by their teacher.

It helped create a circuit to conduct electricity from the solar energy. They taped the circuit again so it remained in place and mounted the solar cells on the chassis where it would receive the most solar energy.

On the day of the contest, they carried their small car to the ground. Luckily the sun in Allepey was shining brightly as usual. They connected the drive belt and the car began to run on solar energy. The other children marveled while the teachers from other schools applauded.

Predictably, they were declared winners for creating something so novel, yet doable. Einstein Iyengar and his friends were declared heroes of the school, yet again!

Here are a few amazing facts about Electric Cars.