Handmade solar cars will be created again in schools as a part of environmental education during science classes in Grand Forks.
Project co-ordinator Paul Pinard noted that he and Chris Moslin began the project two years ago when the issues of greenhouse gas emissions first came up during a meeting of the now defunct Boundary Air Quality Committee.
Pinard recently presented the project to members of the board and asked for money in support of continuing the program. The committee board voted to set aside $1,000 from the budget to continue this project in the schools.
“We’d go to the schools, and as a science project, we’d build solar cars with Grade 6 and 7 students,” Pinard noted. “We didn’t do it this year because we had a new council and the committee wasn’t fully organized yet. I’ve had a few questions from teachers and kids and personally I feel it’s not all that expensive and it’s a worthwhile project.”
Five car kits are purchased from Vancouver, with 50 cars in each kit, and costs $165.
FortisBC previously supplied $500 each year to offset the costs of the kits. Pinard added that the net cost he’s asking of the Grand Forks Environment Committee is $614.
“We have a race day when the cars are complete where the cars are judges by best looking, most original, and fastest car,” Pinard said. “We had a race track made, stored at the city and both times before, we had the race during the fall fair.”
Pinard pointed out that the costs for the kits may have gone up since.
Grand Forks Environment Committee board chair Cher Wyers noted it would be safer to allocate $1,000 to the project since the costs of the kits are still unknown.
“It is an educational tool and educating our younger students, the Grades 6 and 7, into an environmental issues and it was missed at the fall fair,” she said.
Gary Smith agreed and is thrilled to support the project.
“I was in Vancouver a while back and we went to Science World and I bought my grandson an electric solar car kit,” he said. “We built it together and it was a lot of fun.”