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Education

Posted by on in Education

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Inviting curiosity around the topic of renewable energy is the most fun way to learn about solar power. Suntoy is aware that many schools in South Africa have limited educational resources. We therefore offer practical and playful explanations by producing our SunCar and SunFan kits.

Best suited for learners in elementary and high school, any learner can assemble their own solar powered toy by following the basic instructions included in the kit. Learners are motivated to explore, discover and create. Educators have a functional product to assist them in teaching theoretical lessons. These toys are solar tutors that answer, “How does this work?”

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Amanada Calitz, a teacher at Nooitgedacht Primary School near Johannesburg, emailed us: “The sunny people of Suntoy gave us a SunCar and a SunFan to build as a group at our Astronomy Club. We built the solar powered car and fan while speaking about the sun. It took some concentration from the learners but in the end they had a lot of fun. Thank you Suntoy for investing in us. Keep up the good work!”

Suntoy is dedicated to promoting the awareness and education of all green energy sources.

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Posted by on in Education

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Spotting solar powered cars travelling our South African roads made us wonder… were they spacecraft, cyborgs, interstellar travellers or UFOs? Could it be a Sci-fi movie set?

These phenomena were mini SunCars at the Sasol Solar Challenge. Assembled from kits designed by Suntoy, SunCars teach how photovoltaic modules are used to power vehicles. Imagine if the sun could power all cars, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel.

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“Sasol placed a huge order for our SunCars. Shoni spent several days cutting the wheels on the laser cutter and packaging the kits,David Way explained.

Congratulations to all the teams that took part!
Thanks to Riaan Venter, the DIY Guru, (@DIYmetRiaan) for the onsite photos.

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The Solar AstroWheel was conceptualised during a convo between a ‘flowery' artist and a ‘functional' engineer. Its story began by envisioning something wow-worthy yet educational. How do we teach about solar energy, the Solar System and the awesomeness of the Sun using the products we manufacture? Our name has the word ‘toy' in it for a reason - we love to play… and play we did.

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Inspired by the concept of a Ferris wheel, sketches evolved into 3D CAD drawings. Designing and building the AstroWheel was no easy task, even for savvy engineers Harald, David and Shoni. Rotating a wheel with 16 Consol Solar Jars attached to the rim in such a way that as the wheel turns, they are kept upright by gravity. With an engine powered solely by solar energy, this AstroWheel was one-of-a-kind. A sculpture in the round: free-standing with no wire cables or electricity points - just a charged solar panel and solar lights.

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Being a theatre-in-a-jar, we inserted aluminium plates with Solar System facts engraved on them. Keeping the Consol Solar Jars balanced and equally weighted was tricky as we carefully poured measured cap-fulls of coloured glass beads into the jars - red for Mars and ice blue for Neptune. High school science students were truly wowed!

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This year, at ScopeX Telescope and Astrology Expo, our dream became reality. The star party commenced with the lighting of red LEDs for optimal telescopic night vision. As the AstroWheel spun, observers were mesmerised.

Sometimes a team of engineers needs a ‘flowery’ artist in their midst to make the recipe work :).

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Congratulations to all the science project winners of ScopeX! Enjoy using your prize Consol Solar Jar!

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Posted by on in Education
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Are you a keen Planet Spotter with an eye for stargazing? Join our Suntoy team at the ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Expo where we will be honouring the star at the centre of the Solar System, the Sun.
 
We are excitedly revealing our new Solar AstroWheel, a revolving sculpture of Consol Solar Jars with red LEDs for optimum telescopic night vision. Each solar light teaches interesting facts about the eight planets. At 18h00 it will light up for the star party. As Carl Sagan said, "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." 
 
We look forward to sharing sunny smiles with you, so come say hello at our Suntoy stand under the aeroplane wing.
Date: Saturday, 13 September 2014
Time: 9h00 - 21h00
Venue: National Museum of Military History (22 Erlswold Way, near the Joburg Zoo)
 
 
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Posted by on in Education

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Suntoy is always excited to discover where our Consol Solar Jars journey after our team in Selby assembles them. Being the manufacturer, it’s interesting to find out who uses them and how they make every hour a solar-power-hour.

So, we were chuffed to spot a photo of the AfriOceans Warriors holding our Consol Solar Jars in the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) electronic newsletter. The photo was snapped during Earth Hour 2014 in Cape Town. The AfriOceans Warriors Environmental Education (AWESOME) Programme is a marine focused environmental education and shark conservation initiative for youth in South Africa. It makes us smile to know they love solar energy as much as we do!

Our Consol Solar Jar is also a warrior for South African oceans. It shone its solar light on the Indian Ocean bed in Sodwana Bay at a depth of 19.8m!

Photo by Lesley Rochat

 

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Posted by on in Education
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Steering our planet towards a greener sustainable future lies in the hands of our youth. 
 
Mr Sunshine, also known as Harald Schulz, has created SunFan and SunCar assembly kits as practical learning resources for teaching the concept of renewable energy. In the classroom, these solar powered toys bring to life alternative concepts for electricity. 
 
Parktown Senior School in Johannesburg invited Mr Sunshine to facilitate a workshop. Students in Grade 5 learnt to assemble their own hand-held SunFans. As the plastic blades spun in the sun, they excitedly cooled themselves. That's a fun science lesson!
 
Each SunFan is made with a recycled tin - the type found in a supermarket. So, in addition to solar power, students learn about recycling too.
 
Mr Sunshine has visited approximately 16 schools and enjoys encouraging potential solar enthusiasts. Fun in the sun is what education should be!
 
Want to learn about solar energy? Invite Mr Sunshine to your school! Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
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The ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Exhibition invited us to escape the urban jungle while still in its midst. Our Suntoy stand was a palette of yellows with golden sunflowers and cadmium lemons inside Consol Solar JarsSolar powered SunCars zoomed by and SunFans spun.

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Amateur astronomers with portable telescopes observed a sunspot on the photosphere of the Sun. At sunset, Consol Solar Jars with red LEDs and a cloudless sky offered optimum viewing conditions for sky chart reading and stargazing. We observed the Moon and its rocky mantle of craters, Venus, the Southern Cross, the Jewel Box star cluster and the ringed planet, Saturn. The perfect way to end a sunny day.
 
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Interesting fact: Red light preserves night vision as it is the only light that doesn’t adjust the retina or contract the pupil of the eye. Our Consol Solar Jars are an astronomers best friend.
 
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Join us at the ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy ExhibitionWe're honouring the star at the centre of the Solar System, the Sun. Have fun learning about this hot plasma that gives us Earthlings solar energy.
 
Saturday, 20 July 2013
9h00 - 21h00
Star Party Lighting Ceremony at 18h00
National Museum of Military History
Erlswold Way, Saxonwald (adjacent to Johannesburg Zoo)
 
  • Visit our exhibition stand and assemble a SunFan or SunCar.
  • Check out our Solar Cooker.
  • Meet the Suntoy team.
  •  Consol Solar Jars with RED LEDs will set the scene for optimum telescopic vision of sky charts.

 

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be know. ~Carl Sagan

 

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Posted by on in Education

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Fourteen-year-old Katie Fitzgerald was introduced to the Consol Solar Jar (CSJ) by her dad. The solar powered light instantly intrigued her. At school, Katie was learning about the relationship between light, colour and the visible spectrum. She began to explore ideas for incorporating the CSJ into her project submission for the Grade 7 Science Expo Competition. Katie discovered what effect colour filters have on solar light.

Katie placed sheets of coloured cellophane - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet - over the solar panels that are embedded in the lids of Consol Solar Jars. The cellophane acted as a colour filter. She placed the CSJs in the sun to charge for two hours. Katie then measured the burning time (in hours) of each light.

Results showed that different coloured filters had different effects on the burning time of a solar powered light. This is an interesting observation. Suntoy congratulates Katie on her findings. Check out Katie’s school project, The Effect of Colour Filters on Solar Panels, and download her presentation: The Effect of Colour Filters on Solar Panels.

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Sierra Salvione studied Graphic Design at Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago (Ai Chicago) and graduated in June of 2012. An assignment in her sustainable design class lead Sierra to research innovative eco-friendly products and she discovered the Consol Solar Jar while surfing the net. We emailed Sierra to find out more about her infographic poster showcasing our Consol Solar Jar.

“I chose the Consol Solar Jar because it’s practical and beautiful. The first thing that I remember coming across was the numerous design awards it had received in 2011. Once I saw the photos of the jar at work, I immediately started thinking of how many I would like in my backyard someday. I have a strong love for anything that lights up the night. These jars are a beautiful hybrid of vintage design meets modern technology. When designing the poster, I went with a vintage aesthetic and a technology infused layout. I feel absolutely honored to be featured on the Suntoy blog! I am thrilled that my poster design caught your attention in South Africa and that it led to this blog post. I am very grateful for this opportunity!”

Sunny congratulations for a design well done, Sierra!
Download a high resolution version of Sierra's poster in PDF format.

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