Science CareersYoung Engineer of the Year 2016 Keno Mario Ghae visits the second generation solar car being built by students at Ardingly College and joins them in celebrating the sciences.

Keno Mario Ghae visited the team building the second generation solar car at Ardingly College and presented an inspiring speech about himself and how he ended up being so passionate about science. He also described how he subsequently ended up building a solar car himself whilst at Cambridge University.

In a dedicated solar car workshop in the grounds of the school, students are designing and building Solar Car Mark II, incorporating the latest technologies capable of completing a 3,000km journey, using solar power alone.

Dr Spiers, Director of Science and Technology, said that achieving this would be a first for any UK solar team and a first for any school in the world. He explained: “The new car will be completed in 2017 and will then enter trial events in the UK and overseas in preparation for the 2019 World Solar Challenge.”

Keno Mario Ghae said he was bowled over by the students he met and what they were undertaking at Ardingly College:

“What they are doing at Ardingly College is incredible.  The first solar car took so much work and looked like it may not come to fruition many times.  But the students persevered and the resilience they showed was well beyond their years.

“This team are showing the same resilience and it is wonderful to see these budding scientists and engineers actually building a solar car.  They are not even at university yet… what an undertaking to contemplate!”

Dr Spiers, also STEM Teacher of the Year, 2016 said: “What a brilliant evening. Not only did we have an inspiring presentation by Keno Mario Ghae, having seen our latest solar car, but we were also joined by eighteen experts to discuss with students their possible career paths in engineering, medicine and science.”

Ashley Bradshaw, a student said:

“Working on the Solar Car helps in everyday life as I have to present my ideas clearly in order to convince the team of what I’m thinking.  Also, if you understand how to build a machine, you can transfer that skill to other machines.  We are having to modify the components we are using for the car so we are really building it!  We also have to use specific software for 3D printing which is another brilliant life-skill.”

Julian Jaggs, another student said:

“Meeting Keno has been really interesting. He understands the business side as well as the science aspect of building the solar car and I’ve been fascinated listening to his account of how to raise sponsorship as well as the challenge he had getting his solar car on the road. He has made me think about why things have value and the solar car is worth it because we value what we are doing with it.”

Deiniol Lewis, another student said:

“The science evening has been great. We’ve been given the opportunity to have thoughts about our future and what job we might like to do, not just what degree we wish to study.  It is clear there are so many experiences available by studying the sciences.

The solar car is an amazing project.  Nobody gets to do this stuff before they get to university, except us.  We are doing it in sixth form and learning really complicated things. The mechanical design is full of complicated concepts but it’s so useful to learn.