2017 UNSW Sunsprint Day 2

Day 2 of the UNSW Sunsprint Challenge took place in perfect conditions. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine meant we could look forward to a great day of racing.

The Village Green was packed as three events were held simultaneously. The Mini-Sprint for the Primary schools, the Solar Boats and Sunsprint attracted big crowds.

We continued the day with two more rounds of racing before heading into the knockout rounds. One of the big changes to the event was the minimal time needed for scrutineering and this resulted in more racing. A much better format for the students.

At the end of the round racing a number of teams from both St Clare’s and Cathedral realised the solar maximisers were not efficient given only one solar panel of power was being produced. All teams decided to pull the maximisers before the knockout rounds and increase the gearing ratio.

It was amazing to see students who had no idea about power output and gearing ratios last week suddenly discussing the best gearing options for their cars. The collaboration between teams across both Colleges and the learning that took place over the two days was simply amazing.

If only we could bring this back to the classroom!

The Knockout rounds brought disappointment for a number of teams. Of the St Clare’s teams only ‘Chicken Rocket’ made it through to Round 2 while a couple of the Cathedral teams progressed to Round 3, just missing the top 8.

Overall it was a fabulous two days of fun and learning and we all are looking forward to being back with faster cars in 2018.

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2017 UNSW Sunsprint Day 1

Day 1 of the UNSW Sunsprint Challenge kicked off under a magnificent blue sky on the beautiful UNSW Village Green.

A new venue and a new format greeted a large number of schools from around the state. The 31 cars participating were a wide variety of shapes and sizes with each team putting their own interpretation on this year’s regulations.

The move to a single solar panel was the biggest change to previous challenges. As solar panels have become more advanced it was getting increasingly difficult to keep cars on the track unless large amounts of ballast were in place.

The organisers provided the panels, which in itself presented a challenge around the logistics of 31 cars wanting to practice at the same time. Despite this the teams were able to juggle the process quite well and we managed to get through quite a number of races throughout the day.

For both the St Clare’s and Cathedral teams Friday was a valuable day of practice and development as all teams were able to work on their cars and adjust gearing to suit the track and conditions.

At the end of Day 1 the St Clare’s and Cathedral teams had been successful in most of their races due to the fact they were able to adapt to the new system quickly. This was helped enormously through the presence of Michael Salem who worked tirelessly throughout the day ensuring teams from both Colleges were wired correctly and ready to race. His mentoring of the younger students throughout his time at Cathedral has been an inspiration.

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Chicken Rocket Revealed

The third of the STCC team was revealed today. Monica, Isabella, Madison and Tara have created ‘Chicken Rocket’ in the hope they can be one of the contenders for the 2017 Sunsprint title. The team can be very proud of the car they have designed and built.

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Last Minute Preparation

The teams from St Mary’s Cathedral and St Clare’s are working non-stop to get their cars ready for Friday. The opening day of the 2017 UNSW Sunsprint Challenge kicks off at 8:30am on Friday 1st September and goes through until late afternoon on Saturday 2nd September.

The Cathedral boys were working with the SMCC’s Sunsprint guru, Michael Salem, this afternoon. Michael was giving a masterclass in how to configure the wiring components of a car. This is a skill that all students need to master before Michael bids farewell to SMCC at the end of 2017.

There is still much to do as you can see from the pictures below.

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