The Solar Car project at Lake Area Tech is a collaborative, real-world team project that offers a unique opportunity for students to apply their talents to the design, creation, and implementation of a solar car! The solar car project will demonstrate the use of solar energy as an environmentally friendly alternative energy source and will develop students’ interests and skills in technology, science, engineering, and business. Lake Area Tech’s team is the first South Dakota team to undertake this challenge.
The project began in Fall 2012 and to date, the team has built a test-run solar car golf cart in preparation for the design, creation, and implementation of a full-size solar race car. After the completion of the project, the team will register to race in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and the American Solar Car Challenge following an intense scrutineering process during which each car is inspected for compliance.
Throughout the project, students will apply mechanical skills to plan, design, and build the aerodynamic frame; electrical skills to manage the solar cells and batteries; and business skills to acquire and manage sponsorships and promotional events.
Currently, there are students from 12 programs working on the project including Automotive Technology, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Business Associate, Custom Paint & Fabrication, Diesel Technology, Electronic Systems Technology, Energy Operations, Energy Technology, Financial Services, Precision Machining Technology, Robotics, and Welding Technology. All students are welcome to participate in the Solar Car project. Credits are offered to students in related programs.
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You can view a timelapse video of the Solar Car's Progress here.