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Solar-powered electric boat prototype designed by students

09 Oct 2021

Arieh and Samuel in Costa Rica created a 3D-printed solar-powered electric boat

Two students in Costa Rica have designed and built a solar-powered boat as a prototype to demonstrate the possibilities of the use of renewable ‘green’ energy in marine transport. As children growing-up in a country with coastlines on the Pacific and Caribbean, Arieh and Samuel are learning about the impacts of fossil fuels on their local environment and the global climate.

The boat is powered by electricity captured from sunlight using solar panels. They created two prototypes in their development and design phase and tested them on water before choosing the most effective elements of each one for their final design. The boys used two BBC micro:bits in their design, to control the boat’s direction.

Arieh and Samuel’s boat is the winning entry to the do your :bit category for 8 to 14-year-olds in Latin America. Their work is informed by the challenges of climate change, providing a solution to Global Goal 13, Climate Action.

Arieh and Samuel test their prototype in a pool.

The do your :bit challenge is an annual competition which sets young people the challenge to innovate and design solutions relevant to the impacts of the Global Goals that are meaningful to them.

Solar-powered boat

Solar-powered boat

Samuel and Arieh

Samuel and Arieh

We chose to tackle this problem in our community because we think future generations should have a beautiful planet and with climate change that may not happen.

Samuel and Arieh

Children and young people innovating with technology

The do your :bit challenge adds social purpose to digital learning and allows students to apply their digital skills to real world solutions. All projects and lesson resources are available for free and entries can be submitted into two age-range categories, 8 to 14-year-olds and 15 to 18-year-olds. 8 to 14-year-olds can submit either a paper prototype or working micro:bit solution.

Read about all of this year’s winning entries.

The next do your :bit challenge opens in early 2022, you can find out more about the challenge and access Global Goals project resources and lessons here.

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