Solar Car

With oil prices skyrocketing, oil-producing regions in turmoil, and global warming looming, many Americans are looking for environmentally-conscious, fuel-efficient alternatives to their traditional commuter vehicles. To help our students learn about and address these current, real-world issues in a tangible way, we created the Solar Car Project.

The Solar Car Project is an interdisciplinary project and elective class at High Tech Los Angeles in which the students study the politics and economics of energy consumption, the science of solar power, basic electronics, machine shop skills, and engineering principles, with the ultimate goal of building a solar-powered neighborhood electric vehicle. The idea for the project originated in 2005 with teacher Mat McClenahan, who, after reading "The End of Oil" by Paul Roberts, was inspired to create a far-reaching project that would both engage students and inform them about greater world issues. He recruited science teacher Wun Chiou, Jr. to help plan and team teach the class with him, and High Tech LA founder Roberta Weintraub to help fundraise for the project. During the 2006-2007 (Year One) and 2007-2008 (Year Two) school years, the students worked very hard and learned a great deal. We're very proud to say that we ultimately succeeded in building our solar car, also know as the R.E.C.C. (Renewable Energy Commuter Car).

→ See the Solar Car Website