As part of the larger theme taken by NUFYP in 2016-2017 academic year to highlight the importance of renewable energy resources to combat global warming and support sustainable economy, the physics team launched the Solar Car Project to be performed by Physics Students during the second half of the first semester (only 7 weeks). The physics cohort is divided into teams of 3 or 4 students each. Each team is requested to design, build, and run a small car that is powered by solar panel. The 102 teams competed among each other where cars robustness, aesthetic, innovation, and performance were the 4 dimensions of assessments. While NUFYP provided the same basic components to each team (solar panel, motor, few gears and wheel) teams were encouraged to innovate in their design and to use other materials as well.
Teams’ performances were monitored during these 7 weeks where they brought their on-going car designs to continue work on them and test the cars during laboratory sessions. While cars robustness, aesthetic, and innovation were assessed on Dec 6th 2016, on Dec 8th the 102 cars competed under pre-made 3 solar tracks to assess their performance. Cars showed great performance with 50% of the cars crossing the 5 m long track in less than 3.5 seconds with total score of 94% for the 2 top winners and 92.3% for the second place.