Solaride is a project for students who want to contribute hands-on to solving our dependence on fossil fuels. To do so, the students are building a working solar car and taking it to the ultimate test run in Australia in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The ultimate objective of Solaride is to promote engineering and its career options in Estonia.
The project gathers ambitious students from different fields, such as engineers, electronics, mechanics, software etc. from all over Estonia. The project has grown continuously into the size of an average company. Currently there are almost 70 team members. The team also has various prominent mentors from universities and companies to share their know-how with the students. Besides that, Solaride has strong support from cooperation with several Estonian universities and gives participating students the opportunity to gain practical knowledge and compete in an international competition. With this, the project promotes engineering and technology among the pupils and students.
The ultimate objective of Solaride is to promote engineering and its career options in Estonia. As a country Estonia faces a serious shortage of engineers and specialists, now and in the future. The overall aim of the project is to promote STEM career paths through hands-on experiences early on. The promotion of technology and engineering is therefore important to bring people to engineering and have the necessary workforce in the future. The programme also contributes to the development of innovation and science-based economy in Estonia. According to the analysis on the workforce needed in Estonia, in 10 to 15 years, 60% of the occupations are the kind of which we do not have today. Therefore, adapting with new and novel technology is critical.