Pupils’ solar adventures shine a light on award winning schools

A solar collaboration between two West Sussex schools has been recognised at the Tes Schools Awards, one of the biggest nights in the UK education calendar which was held on Friday 13th November.

The Ardingly Ifield Solar Team, born as a collaboration between Ifield Community College and Ardingly College was awarded Science, technology and engineering team of the year, in no small part thanks to their success in a 3000km cross-Australia race on a solar-powered car they built.

The Ardingly Ifield Solar Team brings pupils from both schools together with 33 companies and three universities to design, build and run solar-powered electric cars, with names like The Roadster and Basking Beasty.

The team competed in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia in 2015, driving their solar car from Darwin to Adelaide. The project aims to increase awareness of sustainable transport and is made up of equal numbers of boys and girls from both schools. They have led solar energy events with primary schools, presented to businesses and shown off their work at national and international events. The project gives students access to experiences and skills that will empower them in any career, not just in the Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Ellie Davis, a Year 10 student at Ifield and member of the team, said: “Even on my first day, I worked on the car. It was so much fun. This project has given me more confidence when it comes to talking to new people. “In school, we learn about men in science, but I love being part of a project where girls are fully involved and appreciated.”

Chief judge of the Tes Schools Awards and Editor of Tes magazine Ann Mroz said:

“The Tes Schools Awards are the Oscars of education, recognising and celebrating everything that’s great about our schools and school staff.

“These awards are for the 2018-19 academic year. It’s evident from the entries how hard and how imaginatively school staff were working to give children a great education. Since then, of course, they have had a pandemic to contend with. But this has only served to underline their commitment to the children in their care. They have worked their socks off to make sure children are learning and are safe. So we congratulate all winners but we also salute each and every person working in our schools today.”

The Tes Schools Awards were held virtually for the first time to comply with coronavirus regulations. In previous years the awards ceremony has been held at the Grosvenor Hotel, on London’s Park Lane.

For the full list of winners of the Tes Schools Awards, visit https://www.tes.com/news/tes-schools-awards-2020-winners-announced


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