"Solar Cup 2024" Shines Bright in Sunny Conditions

On May 25, the "Solar Cup" competition celebrated its sixteenth edition at the Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia (ISSP UL). The competition aims to foster interest in science and renewable energy among 5th- to 12th-grade students.

The event kicked off on a sunny Saturday morning. ISSP UL’s director, Andris Anspoks, encouraged participants and thanked students, teachers, event organizers, and dedicated volunteers. Their hard work ensured the event ran smoothly and at the highest quality.

Blessed with exceptionally clear skies and abundant sunshine, this year’s competition took place outdoors. Teams showcased their homemade solar-powered floating models in a pool-based boat event while solar-powered vehicles vied for speed and power on a specially designed track.

Following the thrilling vehicle races, team members had the chance to delve deeper into electric cars through demonstrations by Mārtiņš Stirāns, a board member of the Latvian Electric Vehicle Association. The Latvian National Armed Forces also delivered an informative lecture on energy production and security issues, presented by Major Harijs Zorģis. Edgars Korsaks-Mills from the Latvenergo Energy Efficiency Center engaged participants with a compelling quiz to assess their daily energy efficiency.

This year’s event attracted 32 teams comprising 67 students and 19 teachers from various regions, including Rīga, Jūrmala, Jelgava, Ķekava, Sigulda, as well as more distant locations like Cēsis, Ilūkste, Ranka, Preiļi, Aglona, ​​Rēzekne, and Ventspils.

Students designed and built their models prior to the competition. Teams also participated in model contests and a knowledge test. The overall scores were based on a combination of submitted designs and videos, model competition results, and knowledge test outcomes.

The team "Tukšie termosi" from Riga State Gymnasium No 3, guided by their teacher Jānis Amoliņš, emerged as the champions. They also clinched the top spot in the Car Speed category in the Open class.

All participants, including student teams and teachers, received prizes from event supporters and appreciation letters from the organizers for their enthusiastic participation. The competitive spirit and passion displayed by all were genuinely commendable!

The competition organizers are delighted that the "Solar Cup" inspires young people to explore engineering and fosters interest in natural sciences, which are essential for any economy.

The event was made possible with the support of Riga Freeport Authority, SEB Banka, Latvenergo, Riga International Airport, Riga Energy Agency, Latvian Electric Vehicle Association, Latvian National Armed Forces, National Guard Science, Research and Innovation Implementation Center. L’Oréal Baltics also surprised and acknowledged teachers who inspired and guided student teams.

Event Organizers: ISSP UL, ISSP UL Foundation, CAMART².