Chile Solar Car STEM Challenge - Engineering Design

Vivify STEM
Grade Levels
K - 5th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF (24 pages)
  •  Activity
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Vivify STEM
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes an interactive version of the PDF that you can assign to students to complete on a device, using Easel by TpT. Learn more.

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Explore the largest solar power plant in the world located in Chile as you take your students on an educational adventure with this complete lesson! Read the letter from fictitious travel guides explaining the importance of clean energy and the use of solar power. Students will learn about solar cars as they use them to complete a mission! They must make their solar car navigate the mountains and ocean surrounding the solar power plant using the engineering design process. Students also learn about the STEM careers of electrical engineering and heliophysics to bring in real-world STEM connections. The included mission-related math problems extend the learning fun!

Click here for an editable STEM journal to use with distance learning, including digital and printable versions.

*Note, this activity requires solar cars. You can find the one's we used here (Amazon Affiliate link).

As with many STEM activities that are student-driven, this challenge can be tailored to students of various skill levels and abilities.

Included in this product:

  • Detailed teachers guide with links to resources
  • Grading rubric for the engineering design process
  • STEM Career Connections
  • Solar ball icebreaker game activity instructions
  • Student handouts to guide them through the engineering design process
  • Math extension problems

Required Materials for Challenge: tape, scissors, solar powered car, newspaper, cardstock, cardboard, craft sticks, pipecleaners, posterboard, and cardboard tubes or rolled up cardstock.

Looking for more STEM lessons? Find the Vivify resource guide here:

About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stages of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or after school program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own device.

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Total Pages
24 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps.
Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.
Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.


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