The Solar Cup is one of the major events held annually at the ISSP UL to foster an interest in science and alternative ways of obtaining energy for school youth with the significant support of the CAMART2 project.
On May 20, the 15th Solar Cup competition took place at the ISSP UL. On Saturday morning, the event was opened by the ISSP UL director Andris Anspoks, saying encouraging words to the event participants - students, teachers, event organizers, and hardworking volunteers from the ISSP UL, thanks to whom the event could take place in the best quality. Deputy director of the Higher Education, Science and Innovation Department of the Ministry of Education and Science, Jānis Paiders, greeted participants by giving an empowering and motivating speech during the "Solar Cup" opening. The competition judges, Pēteris Lesničenoks and Ainārs Knoks, gave the final instructions to the participants.
Since the weather was kind this year, the event took place in the open air - teams in various disciplines and classes competed with their solar-powered boats in an outdoor pool, while solar-powered vehicles competed on a special track.
After the exciting starts of various vehicles, the team members gained new knowledge by listening to several lectures: e-cars as a sustainable solution in transport, AI and robots and how they help in banking, smart windows technology developed at the ISSP UL. The Latvian National Defense Academy cadets presented their educational institution – everyday life and the training process. Participants could also get involved in an exciting activity for imagination and mind together with the representative of the “Brain Games” network of board games.
Student teams from Cēsis, Rīga, Jūrmala, Naukšēni, Jelgava, Dundaga, Valmiera, Daugavpils and other towns competed in the competition. Each team consisted of two to three members. A total of 63 students and 14 teachers participated in the competition. The competition’s winner was determined by summing up the points received for the preparation phase tasks (blueprints of the vehicle, vehicle design), points received for the knowledge test the participants took on the day of the competition, and the results at the races. The winners of the overall rating were youngsters from Cēsis Children and Youth Center "Spārni" with their team "REM".
Other participants of the event - student teams and teachers - were not left without the prizes provided by the supporters of the event and certificates of acknowledgement from the organizers for participating in the competition because the enthusiasm and competitive spirit, which is the most important thing in any competition, was there for every student and teacher.
The team of competition organizers is especially pleased that the "Solar Cup" encourages young people to be more interested in engineering and stimulates the increase in the number of future natural sciences students, which is very important for every economy.
Supporters of the competition: SIA "Brain Games", AS "SAF Tehnika", Ministry of Education and Science, Latvian National Defense Academy, Riga Energy Agency, Freeport of Riga Authority, SIA "Latvenergo", SIA "L’Oreal Baltic", AS "Swedbank", Representation of the European Commission in Latvia, AS "SEB Bank", UNESCO Associated Schools Network.
Informative support by the Latvian Physics Teachers’ Association, Latvian Association of Educational Leaders, Young Physicists School of the University of Latvia, Education, Culture and Sports Department of Riga City Council.
Organizers of the event: ISSP UL, ISSP UL Fund, CAMART².
The “Solar Cup” competition started 15 years ago to show young people (grades 5 to 12) that science is exciting; it finds solutions to energy and environmental problems and allows scientific research and discoveries to contribute to a greener, more comfortable, and more enjoyable future.