Pirates empowered by solar success

Belmore Boys student Moustafa Salame in action.Competing in the Australian International Model Solar Challenge (AIMSC) last year, Belmore Boys High School students brought home more than just awards.

They brought home pride in the knowledge that they had beaten some of Australia's top schools.

After winning the NSW finals, Ali Hasnar and Moustafa Salame were thrilled to win nationally in the Advanced Category for their solar boat.

To top it off, they also won for having the best costume for their team Belmore Pirates.

AIMSC chairman Paul Wellington said students experienced the excitement of competition and, almost without knowing it, filled their mind with knowledge.

At Belmore Boys, the competition is part of its gifted and talented program.

"We have extension classes for our top boys to keep them engaged," said Gifted and Talented coordinator Maha Shiyab.

Ms Shiyab said Ali, now in Year 11, had been involved in the competition since the start.

"He's a naturally quiet boy who has absolute confidence in himself, achieving great results. He's a mentor to the other boys, and is the project's team leader," she said.

"The project works on building student capacity, leadership in the field of education and is an excellent hands-on science and engineering project, ultimately engaging boys in their education.

"We can't wait to compete again this year."

Belmore Boys principal Sandra Robinson said she was proud of her students' success.

"It's really exciting that a small school like ours, with minimal resources, has been the NSW winner for the past four years," Ms Robinson said.

"Belmore Boys is a specialist now in boys' education with expert staff in all fields achieving excellent results.

"I challenge other schools to come on board and compete against us this year."

Visit the AIMSC website for more information about the challenge.

Photo: Belmore Boys student Moustafa Salame in action. Photo by Maha Shiyab.

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